Review: Once Upon a Time – Behind the Magic / Author: Paul Terry, Tara Bennett / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now
TV companion books tend to start popping up around about this time of year. Not only are we close to the primary gift-giving season, new seasons of American TV shows tend to start round about now, so it makes a sort of sense that books filled with gossip, interviews and lots of glossy pictures about your favourite show will start hitting the shelves.
Behind the Magic covers the first two series of urban fantasy fairy tale adventure series, Once Upon a Time, and is filled with cast and crew interviews, lots of pictures and some nice insights into the show. The book is official, which is a nice way of saying that the show’s lawyers have looked over the entire contents carefully, and not a single bit of information is going to scandalise you. If you were hoping for the latest gossip from the set, look elsewhere, everything here is tame and marked with a seal of approval from a public relations office.
Still, it’s very nicely done. They are some insights into how much effort it takes to put a complex fantasy show like Once Upon a Time on the telly, and the sheer attention to detail put into every single aspect is very impressive. There are a fair few filler features (such as a breakdown of all the McGuffins from the series), but mostly it’s a glossy book jam-packed with lots of nice things about the show.
It is worth noting that Once Upon A Time – Behind The Magic is mostly a compilation from the Once Upon a Time magazine produced by the same publisher, though this book does have a more complete series guide, and of course, a sturdier (though still soft) cover. This is very much one for the fans; if you’ve not seen the show you’re going to get very little out of it, but those who can’t wait till Season Three, or have a space next to their box sets that needs filling, will want to seek it out.