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This article focuses on the Land Without Color.
For a similarly named world, see the Land Without Magic.

This must be quite a land you hail from if you think your abilities are more powerful.

Rumplestiltskin to Victor Frankenstein. src

The Land Without Color[2] is a world featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the fifth episode of the second season.


Before First Curse

In the Land Without Color, two brothers, Gerhardt and Victor Frankenstein, celebrate Christmas with their father Alphonse. To each son, he gifts a present. While Gerhardt is bestowed with their mother's watch, Victor is given a commission to become an army physician. Alphonse wishes for Victor to abandon his scientific work and forces his son to do so by refusing to fund his exploits any longer or allow him to conduct experiments in the summer home. Victor angrily storms out, and Gerhardt follows, attempting to console his brother by giving him the watch, which the latter refuses to take. From behind the bushes, Rumplestiltskin, who traveled to the Land Without Color from the Enchanted Forest, watches Victor with interest and later pays the doctor a visit in his lab while he is packing up. Rumplestiltskin will allow him a way to continue scientific experiments if Victor gives him knowledge about how life is restored after death. When Victor accepts, Rumplestiltskin conjures a large pile of gold and then disappears before the doctor can introduce him to his assistant, Igor. Later that night, Victor is digging up a body in the cemetery, which he wants to use in the name of science, when Gerhardt sees him. They are both forced to flee when a graveyard guard fires at them. After seeking safety in a carriage, Victor realizes too late that Gerhardt has been shot, and his brother dies shortly after. He tries to bring him back, but Gerhardt's heart burns to a blackened crisp under the experimental strain. Alphonse walks in and upon noticing the corpse is his eldest son's, he is furious. Victor tries to explain his intentions, but Alphonse angrily proclaims that now he has no sons. ("In the Name of the Brother")

In order to obtain a stronger, more powerful heart to save Gerhardt, Victor follows Rumplestiltskin's request to come to the Enchanted Forest via the Mad Hatter's hat and fake a failed resurrection of a man who a Queen named Regina loves. Once he succeeds in the task as Rumplestiltskin wanted, Victor receives the heart as a reward. When he returns to the Land Without Color, the doctor is greeted by Igor. With the heart he procured from the Enchanted Forest, Victor is now able to revive his brother. In awe, he states that this is not an act of magic, but of science. ("The Doctor")

As Gerhardt is recovering, Victor shows him to Alphonse. After a brief look, his father realizes this shell of Gerhardt, who is moving and reacting strangely, is not his son at all. He once again blames Victor and goes as far as attacking him to the point Gerhardt reacts violently to the commotion by killing their father. Following the outburst, Victor locks Gerhardt in a tower room until coming to the decision he must put his resurrected brother out of his misery. Gerhardt willingly pushes the end of the barrel at his own head, but at the last moment, Victor is unable to pull the trigger and doesn't kill him. ("In the Name of the Brother")

Society and Culture

  • Everything originating in this world appears to be filtered in black-and-white. ("The Doctor", "In the Name of the Brother")
  • Since we see the Frankenstein estate celebrating Christmas and Victor tells Gerhardt "(his) cross to bear" when describing his military-metal, it can be assumed that Christianity or something extremely similar is present in this world. ("In the Name of the Brother")
    • In addition, a headstone shaped like a cross can be seen in the graveyard where Victor tries to dig up a corpse.[3] ("In the Name of the Brother")
  • Rumplestiltskin states that there is magic in the Land Without Color, in the form of witchcraft, but is neglected and not nearly as strong as the magic in Fairy Tale Land. ("In the Name of the Brother")
  • This world appears to be, much like Alice's homeworld and Cruella De Vil's homeworld, a variation of the Land Without Magic, one that is based on the real-life German -speaking countries of Germany, Switzerland (the settings of the original novel) and Austria during the 19th century. This is supported by several pieces:
    • Victor's commission letter[1] refers to Austria, more specifically Carinthia and its capital Klagenfurt. ("In the Name of the Brother")
    • Gerhardt's medal[4] appears to be based on the Iron Cross, a symbol used for German military decorations. ("In the Name of the Brother")
    • The sign on the graveyard says "Soldatenfriedhof",[3] which is German for "military cemetery". Victor's commission letter is also written in German.[1] ("In the Name of the Brother")


For detailed location information, please see the Land Without Color Locations category, or the list of minor Land Without Color locations.

Ways to Access the Land Without Color

The Land Without Color can be accessed:


On-Screen Notes

Production Notes

Popular Culture

Prop Notes

  • Victor's commission letter is written in German.[1] It transliterates as:

"Dear Doctor Viktor [sic] Frankenstein,

by the forces of power and authority, which are invested in me by the Chancellor and the Emperor's Commission, I appoint you FIELD MEDIC.
You are expected to carefully and conscientiously execute the duties of the medical field and to serve as an example to lower ranked officers and soldiers. We expect you to follow said instructions to keep order and discipline and execute future commands. Posted in arms, written by me and sealed on the third of March. By order of the Emperor invested in me, T Herman.

Captain T Herman, 34th Mobile Division
Klagenfurt, Carinthia
Klagenfurt-Land County in the name of the Minister-President of the Austrian Empire"
("In the Name of the Brother")

Set Dressing


"Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 File:212Commission.png
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Official ABC Once Upon a Time podcast: "The Doctor". ABC (2012). (At 08:04)
  3. 3.0 3.1 File:212Cemetery.png
  4. File:212DontWorryAboutMe.png
  5. File:205Title.png
  6. File:212Title.png
  7. Once Upon a Time - Call Sheet S2E14 'Manhattan' (3075). iCollector (2020). (Script photo) (It is not known why a script page from "In the Name of the Brother" is attached to a call sheet for "Manhattan"; it may have been an error by the auctioneers.)
  8. Mitovich, Matt (August 4, 2013). Wonderland Bosses Talk Pilot's 'Missing' Scenes, Solve Scheduling Mystery, Share Mad Hatter Plan. TVLine. “"It's not historical Victorian England; it’s fictional Victorian England," Horowitz said. As with other realms visited on Once, Wendy Darling's England, Dr. Frankenstein’s world and such "are lands of story" removed from time.”
  9. File:212IBroughtHimBack.png
  10. File:221WendyArrives.png
  11. File:604EnteringLounge.png
  12. File:212SomethingForBoth.png
  13. File:205TakeYourPick.png
  14. File:202Push.png
  15. File:321SkulkingAround.png
  16. File:322UrnShaking.png
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