‘Once Upon A Time’s’ Frankenstein Controversy: It Was Always Part of the Plan, Says Raphael Sbarge

Raphael Sbarge in "Once Upon a Time" (ABC/Jack Rowand)

Once Upon a Time” began as a show about classic fairytale characters in modern times. Gradually, the cast expanded to include The Mad Hatter and Captain Hook, characters who, while from outside the fairytale universe, did star in classic Disney animated films. Last week’s episode ventured farther afield, revealing that Dr. Whale (David Anders) was, in fact, Dr. Frankenstein.

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While some viewers felt it was the perfect Halloween twist, others thought that the show was violating its own rules. According to Raphael Sbarge, who plays Archie/Jiminy Cricket, the twist was always part of the show’s long-term arc. “I believe it was always their intention to make him Frankenstein even last year,” he tells XfinityTV.com in an exclusive interview. “They hadn’t really elucidated that even to the public. What they kind of want to do is they started with all these Disney characters and then they kind of brought in these fairytale characters like Rumpelstiltskin and then Little Red Riding Hood and now some of these literary characters.”

See Dr. Frankenstein Revealed at the End of Last Week’s Episode:

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Sbarge is in favor of the show’s expanded cast and universe, even though it means there is less of a focus on the original cast members. “While some people may say, ‘Well, what’s Frankenstein doing in a show about these Disney characters?’ What I’d say back is they’ve really gone outside the lines of that even last year…What they told us at the beginning of the season was, ‘We’re introducing a lot of new characters and we’re going to expand the canvas of everyone we know. Let’s introduce Mulan and Sleeping Beauty and Captain Hook and let’s introduce Lancelot and Jack & the Beanstalk….’ But they said, ‘don’t worry, we’re just opening the story up. But of course the core people will stay and we’ll all come back.'”

Jack & the Beanstalk is the focus of this weekend’s episode. Sbarge teases, “What you’ve got is your two main characters trying to find their way home. You’ve got Hook obviously with his own intentions and you’ve got your two main characters who are looking for a path to go up so they can come down [to Storybrooke].”

Though Archie is not a part of this week’s episode, Sbarge revealed that future episodes will include a lot more of the Archie-Regina (Lana Parrilla) relationship. The Evil Queen’s therapy sessions have only just begun. “He’s trying to find that crack in the door to try to get her to understand how she uses magic and try and get her to think twice about that,” he says. “There is more of this kind of relationship with Archie and Regina… There’s a whole bunch of stuff that’s going to happen and how it impacts my relationship with Henry. “

Some fans have speculated that their relationship might develop into a romance. “I believe him to be a man of good conscience.  I think that he would not want to step over that line with his patient. But that said, he’s trying to find the good in her, literally trying to be her conscience, trying to reflect back to her something about conscience, that it always follows you and it always stays, it’s yours, and it’s there when you least expect it. ” That said, he does appreciate the interest in his character’s love life. “There’s been a lot of talk about who’s Archie going to hook up with.  Where’s that going? There are apparently websites devoted to this as well as polling being done on Twitter!”

Preview Sunday’s All-New Episode of “Once Upon a Time”:

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New episodes of “Once Upon a Time” air on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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