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We have a new procedure that can take away your pain. Make you forget whatever... or whomever you're holding on to. One treatment. It all just... slips away.

—Dr. Lydgate to Alice src

Dr. Arthur[1] Lydgate is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the first episode of the spin-off series and is portrayed by guest star Jonny Coyne

Dr. Lydgate is based on Mary's father from Mary Reilly, and is an allusion to Dr. Hastie Lanyon from Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.


Before First Curse

Dr. Lydgate is a well-known doctor in Victorian England who lives with his daughter Mary and wife, though he is also having an affair with his lab assistant. One day, he arrives at the home of Edwin, whose daughter, Alice, has been missing and presumed dead, but reappeared and insists she traveled to a world called Wonderland. He convinces the concerned father that Alice is delusional, but can be cured. ("Down the Rabbit Hole", "Strange Case")

Eventually, Lydgate visits Dr. Henry Jekyll, who wishes to show him a serum he created in order to be accepted into the academy which Dr. Lydgate is a part of. However, Lydgate responds that Jekyll's work is far too dangerous and leaves with his daughter. Later, he attends a party with Mary and is approached by Mr. Hyde. Lydgate questions if they've met, and Hyde responds that he is a friend of Dr. Jekyll's. Suspicious of the man's intentions, he sends Mary away to get drinks for them and tells Hyde that if Jekyll thinks sending a brute will convince him to accept him in the academy, then he is wrong. Hyde fires back by pointing out Lydgate's assistant and expressing knowledge of their affair, and threatens to tell Mary and Mrs. Lydgate unless Jekyll is accepted into the academy. As such, Lydgate reluctantly complies. ("Strange Case")

Later, Lydgate enters Mary's room after hearing sounds of a struggle, but is shoved aside by a fleeing Mr. Hyde. Lydgate discovers that Mary was killed by being shoved out of the window, and assumes Hyde is responsible. ("Strange Case")

Dr. Lydgate is called upon again by Edwin when Alice, now older and still ever as insistent of Wonderland's existence, chooses to enter an asylum because no one believes in her stories. The day she is set to depart, Dr. Lydgate arrives by carriage to pick up a sullen Alice. ("Who's Alice")

After First Curse

After Alice is admitted into the asylum, Dr. Lydgate interviews her about her claims of traveling to Wonderland and falling in love with a genie. During the conversation, Alice repeatedly lapses into a daze and doesn't respond, although she does make weak admissions to those recollections as lies. Dr. Lydgate does not believe Alice because she still calls out for her lost love in her sleep, and he instead offers her a medical solution that will take away all her pain. After she gives her consent to the procedure, Dr. Lydgate begins making the necessary preparations and later encounters Alice in the hallway as she is fleeing from the asylum. He hastily tries to stop her from going, but is stunned into silence upon seeing a talking rabbit. Recalling his disbelief in her "delusions", Alice smugly asks if he, too, is seeing things. ("Down the Rabbit Hole")

On another day at the asylum, Dr. Lydgate meets Dr. Sheffield, who wishes to know more about one of his patients, Alice. Initially, Dr. Lydgate denies there is any patient by that name, but then Dr. Sheffield pulls out the same rabbit he saw the day Alice escaped the asylum. The sight of the talking creature terrifies him, and he pleads for Dr. Sheffield to put the rabbit away. After doing so, Dr. Sheffield orders Dr. Lydgate to give him information about Alice, which he presumably does. ("Who's Alice")


Popular Culture

Costume Notes

  • During his conversation with Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Lydgate is wearing a badge with the motif of the Vitruvian Man.[2] It was drawn by Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci around 1490 and is based on the correlations of the ideal human body proportions.[3] The design is also used as a symbol for science, art and medicine.[4] ("Strange Case")



  1. File:W101Paper.png
  2. File:604MoreNoble.png
  3. Cassie Beyer. Da Vinci's The Vitruvian Man: History & Golden Ratio. Study.com. “[...] It is a study of the ideal proportions of the human form.”
  4. The Vitruvian Man. Stanford. “[...] In other cases, he seems to be used more symbolically, as an image of science, art, and proportion enmeshed to embody the practice of medicine.”