Find out why Matt Frewer is "mad as a box of frogs" in Alice

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

Syfy's upcoming miniseries Alice offers a modern take on Lewis Carroll's Alice novels. A grown-up Alice (Caterina Scorsone) finds herself in a futuristic Wonderland when the Queen of Hearts (Kathy Bates) kidnaps her. Alice seeks an ally in the White Knight (Matt Frewer), a character from Through the Looking Glass.

"He's a knight of old, and the knights in this version have died off," Frewer said in a group interview on Aug. 5 in Pasadena, Calif., as part of the Television Critics Association fall press tour. "He's the one remaining crusader who will champion Alice's cause. That's the idea. He's actually gone mad, as a result of too much time on his own. He's basically a sort of separate case that is wandering about and looking for a fight. Alice provides it."

Writer/director Nick Willing interpreted a lot of Carroll's literary creations for his own Alice. The White Rabbit is not a single character, but rather the Queen's army. The White Knight underwent some adaptation, too. Certainly in Carroll's Alice sequel, he was not a reliable ally.

"It's a fudged invention, to a certain extent," Frewer said. "In this version, we're definitely helping Alice."

Earlier in the day, Frewer told a press conference more about his interpretation of the White Knight. "He's a cross between Don Quixote, Baron von Munchausen and the Cowardly Lion," Frewer said in the press conference. "He's mad as a box of frogs, as Nick wrote, and there's a kind of a gap between who he is and who he pretends to be. Therein lies his madness."

Frewer added that the Wonderland atmosphere extended past work. Everybody had fun between takes, so he hopes the miniseries will be fun to watch.

"It was strange, because on a lot of shows you would stop and have some fun," Frewer said in the press conference. "This thing, there was sort of no division. Hopefully, that sense of play translates to the audience. We had a wonderful time doing it. It's a fantastic piece to work on, and we're just very grateful."

Alice airs this December on Syfy.