Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
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The Doctor 

Mary Margaret, Emma, Mulan and Aurora return to their camp only to find everyone dead. Back in Storybrooke, Regina begins to see a ghost from her past, as flashbacks show her training with Rumplestiltskin.


Paul A. Edwards (as Paul Edwards)


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills / Evil Queen
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French (credit only)
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Meghan Ory ... Ruby Lucas (credit only)
Robert Carlyle ... Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold
David Anders ... Dr. Whale / Dr. Victor Frankenstein
Noah Bean ... Daniel Colter
Sarah Bolger ... Princess Aurora
Jamie Chung ... Mulan
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Raphael Sbarge ... Dr. Archie Hopper
Sebastian Stan ... Jefferson


Mary Margaret, Emma, Mulan and Aurora return to their camp only to find everyone dead. Back in Storybrooke, Regina begins to see a ghost from her past, as flashbacks show her training with Rumplestiltskin.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 October 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The object/animal/person in this episode is lightning in the Land Without Color. See more »


Dr. Whale: Send me back.
Regina Mills: Excuse me?
Dr. Whale: To my land. Send me back to my brother.
Regina Mills: Why don't you check the "Missing" board like everyone else?
Dr. Whale: Your curse only brought the *living*.
Regina Mills: Well, then I'm sorry for your loss. But I'm afraid I can't send anyone anywhere.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Doctor
15 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

Season 1 was a solid season, with most of the episodes very good to outstanding. Season 2 showed enormous promise from the get go, with everything feeling more settled, expanding on old characters and plot lines and introducing new ones with richer content. This has not changed with its fifth episode "The Doctor".

Maybe it is a little over-stuffed, with a lot going on in a short space of time, and Sarah Bolger and Noah Bean in comparison to the rest of the actors are somewhat bland as characters that so far have not been much better.

There is a huge amount to enjoy though. The story is hugely engaging with a lot of great ideas. The standouts being the story between Regina and Rumpelstiltskin, a great example of expanding on show favourite characters and exploring deeper into their emotions (especially Regina in an episode largely centred around her) and Dr Whale's true identity, didn't see that one coming. Am still liking what the season is doing with Emma and Snow's relationship and their subplot here is interesting too.

Apart from two, the acting is strong here in "The Doctor". The standouts are show favourites Lana Parrilla and Robert Carlyle, while David Anders is wonderfully creepy and Colin O'Donaghue proves that Hook is one of the best new characters up to this point.

As to be expected, "The Doctor" is a very handsomely mounted episode, with settings and costumes that are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully and there were some make-up that suited the characters perfectly and pretty good effects work. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme.

Humour, mysterious intrigue, charm and pathos are beautifully balanced, any signs of corniness that crept in here and there in the previous season are nowhere in sight here. The parallel and now merging of the two alternate worlds is as ever seamlessly done.

In summation, very good episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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