The Flash (2014 TV series)

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The Flash
TheFLASHlogo.png
Genre
Based on Characters appearing in DC Comics
Developed by
Starring
Composer(s) Blake Neely
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) JP Finn
Editor(s) Paul Karasik
Harry Jierjian
Location(s) British Columbia, Canada
Cinematography Glen Winter
C. Kim Miles
Jeffrey C. Mygatt
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel The CW
Original run October 7, 2014 (2014-10-07) – present
Chronology
Related shows Arrow
External links
Official website

The Flash is an American television series developed by writer/producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns, airing on The CW. It is based on the DC Comics character Flash (Barry Allen), a costumed superhero crime-fighter with the power to move at superhuman speeds, who was created by Robert Kanigher, John Broome and Carmine Infantino. It is a spin-off from Arrow, existing in the same universe. The pilot for the series was written by Berlanti, Kreisberg and Johns, and directed by David Nutter. The series premiered in North America on October 7, 2014, where the pilot became the most watched telecast for The CW.

Premise

After witnessing his mother's strange murder and his father's wrongful conviction for the crime, Barry Allen is taken in by Detective West and his family. Allen becomes a brilliant but socially awkward crime scene investigator for the Central City Police Department. His obsession with his tragic past causes him to become an outcast among his peers; he investigates cold cases, paranormal occurrences, and bleeding-edge scientific advancements that may shed light on his mother's murder. No one believes his description of the crime—that a ball of lightning with the face of a man invaded their home that night—and Allen is fiercely driven to vindicate himself and to clear his father's name. An advanced particle accelerator malfunctions during its public unveiling, bathing the city center with a previously unknown form of radiation during a severe thunderstorm. Allen is struck by lightning from the storm and doused with chemicals in his lab. After a nine-month coma, he discovers he has the ability to move at superhuman speeds. Harrison Wells, the disgraced designer of the failed accelerator, describes Barry's special nature as "metahuman"; Allen soon discovers that he is not the only one changed by the radiation. Allen vows to use his gifts to protect Central City from the escalating violence of metahuman criminals. He is aided by a few close friends and associates who guard his secrets.[1]

Cast

  • Danielle Panabaker as Dr. Caitlin Snow,[4] named after the civilian identity of the DC Comics character Killer Frost. A highly intelligent bioengineering expert, Snow believes she lost her fiancé, Ronnie Raymond[4] during an explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs.[5]
  • Rick Cosnett as Eddie Thawne, based on the DC Comics character Professor Zoom. A recent transfer to the Central City Police Department, Thawne's past is a mystery and he harbors a dark secret.[5]
  • Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, named after the civilian identity of the DC Comics character Vibe. A mechanical engineering genius, Ramon is the youngest member of the team of scientists at S.T.A.R. Labs.[6]
  • Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harrison Wells, the mind and money behind Central City’s S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator, who becomes a pariah after the lab explodes.[7] He serves as a mentor to Barry Allen after he exhibits his powers, but Dr. Wells is keeping secrets from Barry and the plans he has for him.
  • Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West, a cop who acts as a surrogate father to Barry and is the father of Iris West.[1][8]

Production

On July 30, 2013, it was announced that Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, Arrow pilot director David Nutter and DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns, would develop a Flash TV series for The CW that would detail Barry Allen's origin.[9] Kreisberg revealed after the announcement, that Allen would first appear as a recurring character on Arrow in three episodes of season 2, all written by Berlanti, Kreisberg and Johns, and that the last of the episodes would act as a backdoor pilot for the show. As well, Kreisberg added that Allen will be a forensic scientist and the introduction of his superpowers, as well as the reactions to this, will be very human and grounded. On the character, Johns stated that the Flash in the show will resemble his comic book counterpart, complete with his trademark red costume and not a poor imitation, to which Kreisberg added, "No sweat suits or strange code names; he will be The Flash." While the producers were looking in to how to depict the Flash's lightning speed, Johns stated it would not just be the standard "blurring around". Finally, it was revealed that casting for Allen had begun, overseen by the same team that was working on Arrow.[10]

In September 2013, Grant Gustin was cast in the titular role.[2] In November 2013, it was announced that the third appearance of the Flash on Arrow would no longer be a backdoor pilot, with the studio opting to make a traditional pilot instead. By doing so, it allows the creative team to flesh out the Flash's story and his world on a bigger budget, opposed to being constrained to incorporating Arrow characters with a backdoor pilot. The decision was made after CW executives saw material from the Flash's first two episodes on Arrow, which was well received. The pilot would be written by Berlanti, Kreisberg and Johns, and directed by Nutter. The show would still be tied to Arrow, as that is where Barry Allen first makes an appearance.[11] On January 29, 2014, The Flash was officially ordered for a pilot episode[12] and was officially picked up to series on May 8, 2014.[13]

On February 28, 2014, it was announced that production on the pilot would begin at the start of March in Vancouver, British Columbia,[14] as well as revealing the costume worn by Gustin for the series. The costume was designed by Colleen Atwood, who also designed the costumes for Arrow.[15] The entire pilot was screened at the Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment panel at San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2014, along with the pilot of Gotham, and footage from Constantine and the third season of Arrow.[16] Arrow composer Blake Neely also composes for the series.[17] Additional filming for the series takes place in Portland, Oregon.[18]

In late September 2014, The CW ordered three more scripts beyond the series' initial order of 13 episodes, due to executives positive reception of installments shot after the pilot. The order is strictly developmental, and not an episodic extension.[19] The second episode was screened at New York Comic Con on October 9, 2014 as a way "to pay gratitude to the millions of viewers that tuned in to" the first episode.[20] On how action sequences are shot for the series, compared to Arrow, Gustin said, "When [Arrow] shoot[s] action sequences, pretty much what you see is what you get and they're really doing everything. We do a lot of plate shots that are empty shots of the area we’re going to be in and then they’re putting us in later in post. I do a lot of the fighting. I don’t have to do it full speed and then they ramp it up and a lot of people have to freeze and I keep moving. Then I have to clear frame and step back into frame. It’s really tedious stuff that we have to do. On theirs, they learn fight choreography and they shoot it from the perfect angles and what you see is what you get."[21]

On October 21, 2014, The CW ordered a full-season of 23 episodes for the series' first season.[22]

Broadcast

The Flash premiered on The CW on October 7, 2014 during the 2014–15 television season[23] and also premiered in Canada on the same night.[24] The series premiered in the UK on October 28, 2014.[25] It is scheduled to premiere in Australia in December 2014.[26]

Critical reception

Regarding Gustin's debut as Barry Allen in Arrow and the potential for a series, IGN's Jesse Schedeen stated his concern: "Gustin doesn't come across as leading man material. His awkward bumbling intertwining with Felicity's was cute, but rarely did I get the impression that this character could or should be given his own spinoff series."[27] Schedeen eventually warmed up to the character, however, once the "dorkiness and social awkwardness" were downplayed a bit and the emphasis was placed on "his keen scientific mind."[28]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 96% approval rating with an average rating of 7.4/10 based on 50 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "The Flash benefits from its purposefully light atmosphere, making it a superhero show uniquely geared toward genre fans as well as novices."[29] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 73 out of 100, based on 25 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[30] IGN's Eric Goldman and Joshua Yehl praised the show's premise and cast after viewing a press screening copy of the pilot. Goldman and Yehl favorably compared it to Arrow, stating that The Flash progresses with a confidence that Arrow did not get until later in the series.[31]

U.S. Nielsen ratings

The Flash '​s first episode was watched by 4.8 million viewers and had a 1.9 18-49 demographic rating, making it The CW's most watched and highest rated series premiere since The Vampire Diaries in 2009. It also became The CW’s second-most watched series premiere ever, behind 90210, and the third-highest rated in the 18-49 demographic.[32] Factoring Live + 7 day ratings, the pilot was watch by a total of 6.8 million viewers, becoming The CW's most-watched telecast and the highest-rated premiere among men 18-34 (2.5 rating). It broke the previous record for the most-watched telecast held by the cycle 8 finale of America’s Next Top Model in 2007 (6.69 million). Additionally, across all platforms, including initiated streams on digital platforms and total unduplicated viewers on-air over two airings the week of October 7, 2014, the premiere was seen more than 13 million times.[33]

Episodes

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" David Nutter Story by: Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns
Teleplay by: Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns
October 7, 2014 (2014-10-07) 296648 4.83[34]
Barry Allen, a forensic crime scene assistant for Central City Police Department, is struck by lightning during a storm that is created after a particle accelerator from S.T.A.R. Labs explodes. In a coma for nine months, Barry awakens in S.T.A.R. Labs, having been placed in the care of his scientist idol, Dr. Harrison Wells, along with his assistants, Dr. Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon. Barry quickly learns that he can move at extraordinary speeds, and that there were other "metahumans" created from the explosion. One of them, Clyde Mardon, is robbing banks with his ability to control the weather. In order to stop Clyde, Barry is outfitted with a suit that can withstand his high speed of movement. He tracks down Mardon and with the help of Detective West, who learns of Barry's abilities, Barry is able to stop Mardon. With his new powers, Barry vows to find out who killed his mother when he was a child, believing him to be another metahuman who has similar abilities of speed as he. Elsewhere, in a secret room at S.T.A.R Labs, Wells reveals he is not paraplegic, while reading a newspaper from the future concerning Barry's fate as the Flash.
2 "Fastest Man Alive" David Nutter Story by: Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Teleplay by: Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns
October 14, 2014 (2014-10-14) 3J5352 4.27[35]
With help from Cisco, Barry begins using his abilities to stop minor crimes and help citizens across the city. As Barry begins to push himself more and more, he begins to develop debilitating side effects. While assisting Iris on a school assignment, Barry witnesses a robbery by a crew of men, but faints while trying to stop them. The S.T.A.R. Labs team determine that Barry is becoming hypoglycemic from the use of his abilities due to a sped-up metabolism and needs to ingest more calories to maintain his energy level. The team eventually learns that the robbers are actually one man, Danton Black, who has the ability to create clones of himself. Black wants to kill his former employer, Simon Stagg, who stole Black's cloning research. With encouragement from Joe, Barry goes after Black and successfully stops him from killing Stagg. However, Black commits suicide to prevent being captured. Afterward, Barry accepts Joe's help in finding out who really killed Barry's mother. Later, Wells visits Stagg, who has already become obsessed with the Flash after witnessing his powers and plans to exploit him as he did to Black. To protect Barry, Wells kills Stagg.
3 "Things You Can't Outrun" Jesse Warn Alison Schapker & Grainne Godfree October 21, 2014 (2014-10-21) 3J5353 3.59[36]
As the police investigate the murder of one of the city's crime families, Barry suspects that the killer may be a metahuman who can control poison gases. As Barry and Joe work to discover the killer's identity, Dr. Wells and his team work to retrofit the particle accelerator into a prison specifically for metahumans where S.T.A.R. Labs can begin to find a way of reversing their mutations. This brings up difficult feelings and memories for Dr. Snow, whose fiancé, Ronnie Raymond, was killed when the accelerator exploded. Following another murder, Barry locates the killer, Kyle Nimbus, but is unable to subdue him. Barry discovers that Kyle does not control gases, but literally transforms his body into them. The team learn that Joe, who was the lead detective in the original case, is Kyle's next target. Barry races to Iron Heights Prison in time to save Joe's life. Barry forces Kyle to overexert himself so that Barry can apprehend him without Kyle turning into mist. The team lock Kyle into a custom cell that is able to keep him from escaping. In a flashback to when the accelerator explodes, Dr. Wells is seen going into his hidden room and viewing a surveillance video of Barry getting struck by lightning in his lab.
4 "Going Rogue" Glen Winter Geoff Johns & Kai Yu Wu October 28, 2014 (2014-10-28) 3J5354 3.53[37]
Dr. Wells begins testing Barry's powers by forcing him to perform multiple tasks at superspeed. In the middle of the tests, a group of men attempt to hijack an armored truck carrying a priceless diamond. Barry races over and stops the crime, as well as identifies Leonard Snart from a set of police mugshots. Felicity Smoak arrives to check on Barry, after learning that he woke from his coma. Happy to see Felicity, Barry introduces her to his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs. To combat the "Streak", Snart acquires stolen tech from S.T.A.R. Labs, which includes a cryonic gun. Cisco reveals to Barry that he created the gun as a fail-safe against Barry should he become a killer like the other metahumans they encountered. Felicity helps the team locate Snart, who sets a trap for Barry. Cisco, Caitlin, and Felicity arrive in time to save Barry, and Snart is able to escape. Later, Snart tracks down his former partner, Mick, who has an affinity for fire, and offers him a place by Snart's side taking back Central City from the masked superhero.
5 "Plastique" Dermott Downs Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing & Brooke Eikmeier November 11, 2014 (2014-11-11) 3J5355 3.46[38]
A new metahuman appears in Central City, with the ability to turn anything she touches into an explosive. Barry is able to discover that the metahuman, Bette Sans Souci (Kelly Frye), is a former military explosives expert who was changed by the particle accelerator when it bonded bomb shrapnel to her body on a cellular level. As General Wade Eiling hunts for Bette, Barry brings her to S.T.A.R. labs where the team explains to her how she got her powers. Unfortunately, they cannot reverse the process. While the team is away, Dr. Wells convinces Bette to kill Eiling so that he cannot exploit any metahumans. Barry races to stop her, but Bette sets off several bombs around Eiling and his men. Eiling manages to shoot Bette, which causes her body to turn into a massive bomb. Barry speeds off with Bette's body and drops it in the river to save the city from the explosion. General Eiling visits Dr. Wells demanding that they work together, as they did in the past, to collect the metahumans. Dr. Wells refuses and warns Eiling to never return to S.T.A.R. labs. In a flashback set five years in the past, Dr. Wells tells Eiling he is putting an end to their experiments. After Eiling leaves, Wells walks to a cage and tells Gorilla Grodd that he has plans for him.
6 "The Flash Is Born" Millicent Shelton Jaime Paglia & Chris Rafferty November 18, 2014 (2014-11-18) 3J5356 3.73[39]
Iris is visited by the Streak, who again pleads with her to stop writing about him. Before he can finish, Barry speeds off to stop a car thief. Barry confronts the thief, but when he hits him the thief's skin turns to steel and Barry breaks his hand. Barry runs back to the lab before he can be hurt further. The thief is identified as Tony Woodward, who was Barry's childhood bully. Barry and the team discover Tony's hideout, and Barry rushes in without a plan to defeat him. Tony gets the upper hand again and Barry is beaten up and left for dead. Back at the lab, Cisco determines that if Barry can hit Tony at over 800 mph at the right angle, then he can create enough force to compromise Tony's metal structure. Tony kidnaps Iris and demands that she write about him. Barry arrives and successfully hits the speed necessary to temporarily disable Tony's abilities. Afterward, Tony is locked away at S.T.A.R. labs, and Iris renames her hero "The Flash". Meanwhile, Joe is visited by the metahuman that killed Barry's mother, who steals the case file and threatens Joe to drop his investigation.
7 "Power Outage"[40] Larry Shaw Alison Schapker & Grainne Godfree November 25, 2014 (2014-11-25)
8 "Flash vs. Arrow"[41] Glen Winter Story by: Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Teleplay by: Ben Sokolowski & Brooke Eikmeier
December 2, 2014 (2014-12-02)
9 "The Man in the Yellow Suit"[42] Ralph Hemecker Todd Helbing & Aaron Helbing December 9, 2014 (2014-12-09)

Other media

Arrow

Main article: Arrow (TV series)

Barry made his first appearance in the Arrow season two episode "The Scientist" as a CSI from Central City. He arrives in Starling City to investigate a suspect with super powers who might have connections to a case in Central City. He meets Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) after Queen Consolidated is burgled. Barry has an immediate rapport with Oliver's confidante, Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Oliver is immediately suspicious of Barry despite the needs of his forensic expertise; Barry's investigation of the theft allows Oliver and his partners to begin uncovering the Mirakuru plot orchestrated by Deathstroke (Manu Bennett). Barry reveals that he is not in Starling officially, and his quarry may have been involved in the murder of Barry's mother. In addition, Barry hopes to meet the Arrow during his time in Starling City, as he has been reading the hero's exploits as a fan and seeks his help in solving his mother's murder. He is ordered to return to Central City, but Felicity and John Diggle (David Ramsey) bring him to their hideout when Oliver is poisoned. In the following episode, "Three Ghosts", Barry saves Oliver's life, and continues to assist Felicity in hunting Cyrus Gold (Graham Shiels), a test subject of Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro), after proving that he can be trusted. In a gesture of friendship, he leaves a custom-made domino mask for Oliver to improve his disguise. Returning to Central City, he is hit by lightning while in his lab at the same time that the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explodes across town.[1] In "Blast Radius", it is revealed that Barry was left in a coma following the lab accident. In "The Man Under the Hood", Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon take inventory at the Starling City facility of S.T.A.R. Labs prior to its shutdown by Harrison Wells; they are interrupted by Deathstroke. Caitlin and Cisco later help Felicity create an antidote for the Mirakuru drug.

In March 2014, it was announced that Gustin would not appear in a third episode of Arrow as originally planned. However, Danielle Panabaker and Carlos Valdes appear in the Arrow episode "The Man Under the Hood" in their roles as Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon, respectively. Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim stated, "This was something that really came about because obviously Barry is in a coma at the end of ["Three Ghosts"]. That pretty much made it impossible for Barry to appear in [the third episode, as originally planned]... The idea of bringing in [Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon] really, really appealed to us because it allowed us to honor our original intention [of] doing something Flash-related around episode 19 or 20 [of season two] without having comatose Barry and basically paying Grant Gustin a lot of money to sit around with his eyes closed just unconscious the whole episode... It allows us to further flesh out the Flash universe in Arrow."[43]

In May 2014, it was revealed that Amell appears as Oliver Queen / Arrow in the pilot episode.[44] In July 2014, Kreisberg stated that Rickards would appear in the fourth episode as Felicity and that a crossover event would occur in episode eight of The Flash and the eighth episode of Arrow season 3.[45] In August 2014, it was announced that previous Arrow nemesis William Tockman/The Clock King (Robert Knepper) would be making an appearance in the first season's seventh episode.[46]

Digital comic

The Flash: Season Zero, written by Kreisberg, Brooke Eikmeier and Katherine Walczak, with art by Phil Hester and Eric Gapstur, is intended to take place between the pilot episode and episode 2. Kreisberg stated, "Barry will [already] be the Flash, he will have his team, everyone will be in that world, and we'll [sic] introducing a new set of villains that we won't be seeing on the TV show. It'll feel like the same heart, humor and spectacle that you get watching Flash." The comic will showcase the entire TV cast, plus new rogues, a group of circus performers who gained super powers as a result of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion. The group is led by Mr. Bliss, a character who first appeared in Starman. The comic launched digitally biweekly on September 8, 2014, with its first physical release featuring a collection of the digital releases, releasing on October 1.[47]

References

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External links