February 8th, 2009 at 6:30 am
Posted by admin in Wonderland

Links for Wonderland:

Note: I do not have copies of the episodes, nor do I know where you can find them. Try writing the production company (Touchstone) or posting on the Wonderland Yahoo Group.  Additionally, I do not know where you can find a copy of the original theme song.

December 11th, 2008 at 9:24 am
Posted by admin in Wonderland

DIRECTs The 10Network Brings Back the Controversial and Critically Acclaimed Television Series Wonderland, Including Six Never-Before-Seen Episodes Beginning Jan. 14

On the heels of its groundbreaking deal that made a new home for the critically acclaimed series Friday Night Lights, DIRECTV makes television history once again with the bold return of the highly controversial television series Wonderland, the gritty drama that delves into the lives of the doctors of Rivervue, a fictional New York psychiatric hospital.

All eight episodes of the series, including six never-before-seen on television, will air Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Jan. 14, 2009, only on DIRECTs The 10 Network and DIRECTV on DEMAND.

Revered as a show that was ahead of its time, Wonderland first aired on ABC in the spring of 2000 and was met with both critical praise and controversy. Because of its dark tone and intense nature, it was quickly taken off the air. Now, fans will be able to see the entire series from start to finish with new opening commentary, circa 2009, by Peter Berg (Hancock, Friday Night Lights), the series creator and executive producer.

This show was deemed so intense for network television that it was removed from ABs lineup after just two episodes, so viewers who enjoy quality television were frustrated now they will get to see what they missed said Eric Shanks, executive vice president of Entertainment at DIRECTV. We are proud to add such a provocative and original show to our Network lineup and, as we’ve seen with Friday Night Lights, Peter Berg is an exceptional story teller who knows how to present compelling drama.

“I’m pleased that Wonderland has been given another chance so that viewers can see these character stories evolve,” said Berg.

Wonderland will join The 10s Wednesday night lineup following the season 3 finale of another critical and fan favorite, Friday Night Lights (9 p.m. ET/PT), commercial-free and in HD at 10 p.m. ET/PT. DIRECTs The 101 Network will be the only place viewers will be able to see this incredible series in its entirety with episodes that feature many of todays leading television and film stars including Michelle Forbes (HBs In Treatment), Billy Burke (Fringe, My Boys), Dax Griffin (Bold and the Beautiful, All My Children), Martin Donovan (Ghost Whisperer, Weeds), Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight, Why Did I Get Married), Ted Levine (Monk, American Gangster) and Patricia Clarkson (Vicky Christina Barcelona). The show also featured guest cameos by Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Piven.

September 10th, 2008 at 12:32 pm
Posted by admin in Wonderland

I don’t know if this is real or not (I’m having trouble with my PC lately and I didn’t want to take a chance downloading something unverified), but I found a link to download all 8 episodes of Wonderland. Let me know if you try it out and it works so I can let others know they can find the episodes online.

November 7th, 2001 at 3:16 pm
Posted by admin in Wonderland

TV Guide April 8, 2000 issue
Next Stop, Wonderland
By David HandelmanForget the emergency room – welcome to the psychiatric ward. The extreme hospital drama has arrived.

It’s just another morning on the hospital ward. Doctors Robert Banger (Ted Levine) and Neil Harrison (Martin Donovan) are leading an entourage of medical students on their daily rounds from bed to bed, waking up the patients and assessing their status. Today, there’s a patient who says he’s “depressed.” Banger asks him why. “Something happened,” the man says evasively. Turns out he poured gasoline on his mother and set her on fire.

OK, this isn’t your everyday hospital ward. It’s got prison bars, uniformed guards and signs warning: NO WEAPONS BEYOND THIS POINT. Doctor Banger runs the forensic psychiatric ward of a New York public hospital, tha place where crime suspects displaying mental disorders land between arrest and their ultimate destinations.

Nor is it your everyday network drama series. But Wonderland (Thursdays, 10 P.M./ET), created by former Chicago Hope star Peter Berg, got the go-ahead from ABC to air as an eight-week, mid-season tryout. “There’s no question this is a very risky show for us,” says Lloyd Braun, cochairman of the ABC Entertainment Television Group. “But it’s unlike anything else on television right now.”

The risky, gritty Wonderland further blurs the line between cable and network programming. Like The Sopranos and Oz, the show takes a decidedly non-glossy approach to its volatile subject matter. It’s shot in a documentary, improvisational stye; its writing staff includes literary humorist Mark Leyner and Scott Burns, an advertising executive who had never written for TV before; and it’s filmed in New York on locations that include the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, which radiates an institutional creepiness that set decorators could never fake. Even the actors’ dressing rooms are former solitary confinement cells.

“It’s the real deal,” Levine says with a bit of a shutter. “There’s some ghosts in those walls for sure.” When Berg left ChicagoHope after four years, he swore he was done with hospital drama and was convinced that his taste was too extreme for the networks. (One Hope episode he’d written about family psychoses was deemed so disturbing that CBS has vowed never to rerun it.) Yet just a year later, Berg, 38, is behind an extreme hospital drama on ABC. He was inspired watching the 1975 movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on TV and, he says, “It occured to me that there’d never been a show that took a realistic approach to the psychiatric concepts of medicine.”

When Berg was 13, his mother, Sally, who voluteered at New York Hospital’s psychiatric unit, introduced him to Frederick Wiseman’s “Titicut Follies,” a 1967 documentary about a Massachusetts mental institution that made a profound impression on him. Growing up in Chappaqua, New York, he had always heard about the city’s notorious Bellevue hospital, where the corrections department and psychiatry met. “It represented a scary, forbidden place,” he says, “and there’s something irresistable about scary, forbidden places.”

When Berg got a deal with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment to create a pilot, he spent six months there following the doctors on their rounds. “From the minute I walked in, I was hooked,” he says. “It’s a very dramatic and dynamic place. I felt like I’d stumbled onto some uncharted territory.”

After securing stringent non-disclosure agreements, Bellevue opened its doors to the writers (including veterans of Law & Order and Homicide) and actors (Homicide’s Michelle Forbes, Joelle Carter, Michael Jai White and Billy Burke), who spent time with patients whose sordid crimes had landed them on the covers of New York tabloids. “It was amazing,” recalls Forbes. “I walked away with enormous respect both for the doctors and for patients who are devastatingly ill and have families broken apart by this illness.”

Despite the harrowing backdrop, what will ultimately drive the show will be the doctor characters’ personal struggles. “Their lives are very complicated; there’s a lot of pressure,” says Donovan. “When they get a high-profile case, like subway shovers, they have to deal with the D.A.’s office, the press and all the pressure to, quote-unquote, fry these people. And they have to be able to steer clear of the politics of it and fight for what they believe in.”

The toughest problem has been fashioning plot resolutions. “It’s not like a cop show or a traditional medical show where you can cure a patient or convict a criminal in one episode,” says Berg. “Mental illness is a bit more ambiguous than that. So it’s a curse and a blessing for the show that we’re trying to portray it as realistically as we can.”

But realism still has its limits in network TV. When Berg submitted the pilot to ABC, the brass found some scenes too disturbing. So he wrote and filmed a softer first episode, which emphasized the family lives of the principals. After much debate, the network decided to go with a toned-down version of the original pilot. “It was the best example of what the show is and the version Peter had in his head,” Braun says. “Some scenes were tough for me to watch, too, but it also was extraodinarily gripping television.”

ABC’s view, says Braun, is that “it’s not about mental patients; it’s a much broader show than that. It’s about very multidimentional, flawed and yet heroic characters who work in this world.” Even if it’s toned down, the show is certain to spark debate — which is fine with the cast. “The worst thing you can do,” says Levine, “is be half-baked.”

Besides, Donovan has a foolproof plan for selling Wonderland to the public: “We’re thinking of bringing in Regis to run the hospital.”

November 7th, 2001 at 3:15 pm
Posted by admin in Wonderland

Toronto Sun
Actor in wonderland
By CLAIRE BICKLEYYou’d expect Martin Donovan to be disappointed by the cancellation after a mere two episodes of his ABC-TV series, mental hospital drama Wonderland. And you’d be right. But he wasn’t as surprised by that harsh outcome as you might assume.

“I wasn’t totally shocked. This profession is 90% discouragement. It’s 90% rejection and disappointment and bad reviews or people dismissing your work or ignoring it. It’s really not even 10% of the time where you get the rewards,” Donovan told me a few days ago, on the set of Lifetime movie Custody of The Heart.

“Which is why you have to do it for yourself. You have to really love the work. It has to be a very personal thing. If you’re relying solely on outside (feedback), which I’m not saying you don’t need, but if that’s all you’re looking for, you’re going to be a really bitter, disappointed person.”

November 7th, 2001 at 3:15 pm
Posted by admin in Wonderland

San Francisco Gate
Next stop, “Wonderland’
By Tim GoodmanABC’s riveting new hospital show is shaping up as TV’s next great dramatic series.

When “ER” first burst onto the scene, it was a mix of supreme drama and over-the-top hospital theatrics – yelling, running, cameras swooshing around the room. The worry then was that even though you couldn’t take your eyes off it, who could bear the clatter?

A lot of people, apparently. “ER” has been the most dominant drama on television since it debuted. With two other hospital dramas already on the schedule – “Chicago Hope” and “City of Angels” – a cynic might say a fourth is overkill. But ABC’s new midseason replacement series, “Wonderland,” is a special kind of hospital drama, one that recalls all the greatness of “ER” without having yet fallen into the soap-operaesque storylines of a tired front-runner. In fact, “Wonderland” is the new “ER,” the fresh take with a twist. Anyone with an inkling that “ER” has played itself out and needs a discharge should take a look at this show’s premiere (10 p.m. Thursday, Channel 7). Yep, a head-to-head battle with the champ – conventional programming wisdom would call that a suicide mission.

However, “Wonderland” is worth skipping “ER” for. It isn’t about ruptured spleens and heart attacks. It’s about the mentally ill, the psychotics and schizophrenics and the severely depressed. It’s about the doctors who take care of these special cases, the so-called gatekeepers holding the barbarians back from society.

Produced, written and directed by Peter Berg (himself an alum of “Chicago Hope,” as well as an independent filmmaker), “Wonderland” is a riveting if challenging bit of television. Berg and a team of writers spent months at New York’s Bellevue hospital, where they were allowed to witness and interview doctors working with the mentally ill. They’ve borrowed storylines from there and have gained a convincing knowledge of psychiatry and its terms, much as “ER” mastered the fine art of yelling for drugs and clinical tools with the right words.

To further the effect of being in what is essentially an asylum, Berg uses hand-held cameras and lets the actors improvise when needed. This gives “Wonderland” a gritty, realistic feel. But the technique also adds a sense of chaos to the viewing experience. Watching “Wonderland” is a sensory overload, as patients scream at the top of their lungs, bang on things, turn TV channels rapidly and provide a kind of non-stop white noise over the show’s dialogue.

Parents who have put to bed unruly children will find no relief here, nor will anyone else seeking to unwind from the day’s work. “Wonderland” makes the frenetic talking-and-walking banter of “The West Wing” look like a mime show.

In fact, “Wonderland” has more in common with Martin Scorsese’s “Bringing Out the Dead” than any hospital drama on TV.

But those who hang in there will discover the potential of television’s next great drama. The doctors and patients in Rivervue Hospital’s psychiatric and emergency wards are an engaging bunch. Dr. Robert Banger (Ted Levine, “Silence of the Lambs”) heads up the forensic psychiatry department. He’s the calmest in the storm – a trait he needs with a crumbling marriagge and the impending custody loss of his two beloved young sons. Levine is brilliant, by the way.

Another forensic specialist is Dr. Neil Harrison (Martin Donovan, “The Opposite of Sex”), who is married to Dr. Lyla Garrity (Michelle Forbes, “Homicide: Life on the Street”). The two are expecting their first child – and for two tightly wound people, that’s just added pressure. Donovan has been wonderful in every movie he’s been in and Forbes’ intensity is her greatest asset. She heads up the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program – meaning she has to decide if people checking in to the crowded hospital are really disturbed or not. A misread in the pilot leads to the dramatic crux: A mentally ill man who thinks he’s taking orders from Zeus guns down five people in Times Square.

Also in the mix: young Dr. Abe Matthews (Billy Burke), whose womanizing and fear of intimacy sometimes cloud his psychiatric evaluations; Dr. Derrick Hatcher (Michael Jai White), a physician (as opposed to a shrink) at the hospital; and resident Heather Miles (Joelle Carter), who is bright and understanding (and a potential romantic partner to Dr. Matthews). Like any good series, “Wonderland” is littered with smaller characters giving fine performances, and its “crazy people” truly get into their parts.

The writing and acting in this series are superb. And Berg hasn’t tried to tell too many stories too quickly, so we can get to know the characters slowly. That said, the pilot has an explosive subplot that kick starts everything.

If you’ve been attracted to the reality feel of “NYPD Blue” or the fine writing of a show like “The West Wing,” you’ll see the potential in “Wonderland” right away. This thing is just dripping with quality. The question is whether you can adjust to the in-your-face chaos and, more importantly, if you can give up “ER.”

You ought to at least give “Wonderland” a chance. It’s time to switch hospitals.