Our preview of the ''Once Upon a Time'' spin-off from this year's Comic-Con

By James Hibberd
Updated July 12, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

”My favorite thing that’s ever been written about anything we’ve ever done ever is ‘Bong Hit Fairy Tale Hour,”’ says Wonderland exec producer Edward Kitsis. And it’s true: This Once Upon a Time spin-off just might be the most surreal TV drama since Twin Peaks. It follows the adventures of Alice (Sophie Lowe) as she both navigates the titular mythical land with a handsome genie (Peter Gadiot) and contends with the stern-faced men in the mental institution who think her tales are the ramblings of a crazy person. It took only an 18-minute CGI-stuffed presentation to persuade ABC to give the project a series order and a Thursday-night time slot before Grey’s Anatomy this fall. Unlike the sprawling Once Upon flagship, though, the spin-off has a relatively modest-size cast and tells a low-commitment self-contained story over the course of its 13-to-18-episode first season. ”One thing we haven’t seen on television that we really wanted to do is tell an epic romance between two people with incredible obstacles between them,” says exec producer Adam Horowitz. ”You can just come on in and enjoy the ride.” And whatever you partake in while enjoying said ride is entirely up to you.