Forget the happily-ever-after fairy tales of our childhood – this is a dark and somewhat twisted take on that.

THERE have been countless feature films and animations that were inspired by fairy tale characters. This TV series plucks them out of those books and turns them into seemingly ordinary citizens in a fictional seaside town called Storybrooke, where no one has aged in the last 28 years.

At the heart of the story is Henry, the adopted son of Regina (aka the Evil Queen), who is also the mayor of Storybrooke.

The arrival of bail bondswoman Emma Swan, who is actually the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, becomes a bone of contention for Regina Mills. Aside from Emma being Henry’s biological mother, the two start bonding, much to Regina’s dismay, and Emma decides to stick around for a bit longer.

Each episode features flashbacks of every character, with Rumpelstiltskin having a devious hand in the outcome of the fate of most of the characters, while the Evil Queen is hell-bent on revenge for losing the love of her life.

The only hope for all the characters trapped between two worlds is Emma – but can she fulfil the prophecy with Regina pulling rank on her at every turn?

Aficionados of fantasy drama will revel in this tantalising tale.

Special features: Audio commentary, Once Upon A Time orchestral suite, view (7.15am) with commentary by actors Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas. View Skindeep with commentary by actor Robert Carlyle and writer Jane Espeinson. View The Stable Boy with commentary by co-creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and actor Lana Parilla. – Debashine Thangevelo