The Flash (TV series)
|Developed by||Danny Bilson
Paul De Meo
|Written by||Danny Bilson
Paul De Meo
Gail Morgan Hickman
John Francis Moore
|Starring||John Wesley Shipp
|Theme music composer||Danny Elfman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Executive producer(s)||Danny Bilson
Paul De Meo
Gail Morgan Hickman
|Running time||45 minutes
(60 with commercials)
|Production company(s)||Pet Fly Productions
Warner Bros. Television
|Picture format||4:3 Standard|
|Original run||September 20, 1990 – May 18, 1991|
The Flash is a 1990 American television series that starred John Wesley Shipp as the superhero, the Flash (Created by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert), and co-starred Amanda Pays. The series was developed from the DC Comics characters by the writing team of Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, and produced by their company, Pet Fly Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. Composer Danny Elfman wrote the show’s title theme, and Stan Winston Studios built the costume.
The Flash's costume was designed and created by Robert Short, based upon the Barry Allen-era costume of the comics, but more modernized.
Executive producers Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo became the writers of the Flash comic book series beginning with The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #1 (2007), scripting a total of eight of the series' thirteen issues. The series focused on Bart Allen, Barry's grandson. Another regular writer on the show was Howard Chaykin, who has written and illustrated many comic book series in the past three decades.
|John Wesley Shipp||Barry Allen/The Flash/Pollux||Main protagonist of the series. John Wesley Shipp also portrayed the Flash's "evil" clone, Pollux.|
|Amanda Pays||Dr. Christina "Tina" McGee||Scientist at S.T.A.R. Labs; main ally and potential love interest of Barry Allen/the Flash. Provides the Flash with experimental inventions to adapt & overcome his enemies.|
|Alex Désert||Julio Mendez||Central City PD (CCPD) scientist; Barry Allen's co-worker and close friend.|
Recurring Roles & Guest Stars 
|Mike Genovese||Lt. Warren Garfield||Lieutenant, CCPD; Barry and Julio's supervisor. Despite his gruff demeanor, Garfield actually cares for his men. It was Lt. Garfield who deduced the true identity of the Nightshade, Dr. Desmond Powell (see below), who has been a friend of Garfield for more than 30 years.|
|M. Emmet Walsh||Henry Allen||Sergeant, CCPD (retired); father of Barry and Jay Allen. Inspired his sons to join the police force.|
|Priscilla Pointer||Nora Allen||Mother of Barry and Jay Allen; volunteer at a shelter for single mothers.|
|Tim Thomerson||Jay Allen||Older brother of Barry Allen. Head of the CCPD Motorcycle Patrol Division; killed by his former police partner, Nicholas Pike (see below).|
|Paula Marshall||Iris West||Computer graphics artist who was dating Barry Allen at the time he was transformed into the Flash. Later moved to Paris.|
|Richard Belzer||Joe Kline||WCCN TV news reporter, known as the "Voice of the City". Kline often does tabloid-style news stories about the Flash and his exploits, which tend to annoy the latter.|
|Gloria Reuben||Sabrina||Julio's girlfriend. Constantly trying to set up Barry with blind dates.|
|Dick Miller||Fosnight||Police informant who provides Barry Allen with tips on criminals. Fosnight owes a "life debt" to Henry Allen, and extended that debt to his two sons as well.|
|Robert Shayne||News Stand Vendor||Unnamed owner of a news stand whom Barry Allen buys his daily newspaper from. See "Pilot" below for trivia.|
|Mark Hamill||James Montgomery Jesse/The Trickster||Psychopathic and delusional mass murderer and con artist. Wanted for murder in six states. Obsessed with Megan Lockhart (see below) and kidnapped her to be his fantasy sidekick, Prank. Believing that Megan was under the influence of the Flash, the Trickster challenged him in order to rid of his "evil spell." However, the Trickster failed and was immediately arrested. He was in court, awaiting his verdict, when he was freed by Zoey Clark (see below), who became the second (true) Prank. As revenge, the Trickster captured the Flash and brainwashed him to do his bidding. The Trickster wreaked havoc upon Central City and wanted to put the entire city on "trial" with the aid of his new partner. However, the Flash managed to overcome his programming and turned the tables on the Trickster, who was sent to an insane asylum.|
|Joyce Hyser||Megan Lockhart/Prank (1st)||Private investigator and repossession agent; became the Trickster's unwilling sidekick, Prank. Later helped Tina McGee stop the Trickster and the brainwashed Flash. Also became Barry Allen's love interest.|
|Corinne Bohrer||Zoey Clark/Prank (2nd)||Owner of Clarx Toys and a huge fan of the Trickster. Her obsession led her to free him during his criminal trial. Originally, the Trickster had the intention to retire from his criminal life but after a kiss, Zoey seduced him back to his evil self and she instantly became the Trickster's true sidekick, Prank, which was what she had always wanted. Prank used all her wealth to help finance the Trickster's evil schemes, including the brainwashing of the Flash. This proved to be a bad move for Prank, since the corrupted Flash became the Trickster's favored sidekick, and she was locked in her own toy store for complaining. Eventually she escaped, but despite her efforts to win the Trickster's heart again, it was clear that the Trickster had grown tired of Prank and ultimately booted her out of the getaway car that they were in, resulting in Prank's arrest; the Trickster himself was captured by the Flash soon after.|
|Michael Champion||Leonard Wynters/Captain Cold||Infamous albino hitman known for freezing his victims to death with a nuclear-powered freeze gun. Captured by the Flash and arrested by CCPD pending trial, but later escaped using concealed freeze weapons. Killed by his own freeze ray when the Flash deflected the ray back at him.|
|Jeffrey Combs||Jimmy Swain||Mob boss who hired Captain Cold to eliminate his enemies, including the Flash. Since Captain Cold initially failed to kill the Flash, Swain refused to pay Cold, who killed Swain with a freeze bomb and took his money.|
|David Cassidy||Sam Scudder/Mirror Master||Professional thief who is an expert with mirrors and holography; stole a crystal from S.T.A.R. Labs and attempted to kill his ex-partner Stasia Masters, a high school girlfriend of Barry Allen. The Flash used a high-powered spotlight to blind Scudder and drown out his illusions, allowing the Flash to capture him.|
|Biff Manard||Officer Michael Francis Murphy||CCPD patrol officer, partner of Bellows; doesn't believe the Flash is real because he has never witnessed the Flash (standing still, that is). Murphy has served the CCPD for many years and is considering retirement.|
|Vito D'Ambrosio||Officer Tony Bellows||CCPD patrol officer, partner of Murphy; in the early episodes, Bellows notices whenever the Flash appears, Murphy is never around. Bellows once accused Murphy of being the Flash, until he saw Murphy and the Flash at the same time.|
|Michael Nader||Nicholas Pike||Disgraced former CCPD patrol officer who became a biker gang leader; in revenge, Pike murdered Barry Allen's brother Jay Allen, who was once Pike's partner and the person who turned in Pike for corruption. Pike was captured by the Flash and put on trial, but was released on a technicality. Pike tried to kill the Flash, but his plan backfired and Pike was arrested again. In a possible future, Pike became the fascist Mayor of Central City.|
|Jason Bernard||Dr. Desmond Powell/Nightshade||1950s vigilante who captured criminals using tranquilizer darts. Blamed himself for the accidental "death" of the Ghost (see below) and gave up being a vigilante; later became a Doctor & Chief of Staff at Central City Hospital. When the Ghost reappeared in 1990, Powell became Nightshade once again & teamed up with the Flash to apprehend the Ghost. Later inspired the Deadly Nightshade (see below); was framed for multiple counts of murder, but managed to clear his name and capture the impostor. Made his secret identity public and became a celebrity.|
|Anthony Starke||The Ghost||Megalomaniacal extortionist & electronics expert who used television to eavesdrop on his victims and broadcast his demands. In 1955, Nightshade attempted to capture the Ghost, who threatened to blow up downtown Central City if he were not paid $1 million by the Mayor, but the Ghost managed to fake his death and sealed himself in a "freeze chamber", set to awaken the Ghost in 1999. The equipment malfunctioned and thawed out the Ghost in 1990; the Ghost and his crew stole electronics from a TV charity telethon and S.T.A.R. Labs, connected himself to his computers, then threatened to shut down Central City's computer network, communications and power grid if he were not paid a $1 billion ransom, but he was captured by the Flash and Nightshade. The end of the episode implies that the Ghost's mind is trapped in cyberspace, with his body in a permanent stupor. His real first name is Russell.|
|Lois Nettleton||Belle Crocker/The Ghostess||The Ghost's sidekick & girlfriend; was saved by the Nightshade after their hideout caught on fire. Thinking the Ghost had died, she gave up the life of crime and became a lounge singer. Thirty-five years later, she learned that the Ghost survived the fire and had not aged a bit. While she initially welcomed Russell back into her life, she could not handle the fact that he was still a young man, and she was near 60 - and eventually left him, informing Nightshade of the Ghost's location. The young Belle Crocker was played by Sherrie Rose.|
|Richard Burgi||Curtis Bohannan/Deadly Nightshade||Philanthropist & son of mob boss Derek Bohannan (an enemy of Nightshade); decided to atone for his father's sins by becoming a vigilante resembling Nightshade, except the Deadly Nightshade wore red-glowing goggles and used real bullets. The Deadly Nightshade gunned down an entire terrorist group and several of Derek Bohannan's former mob associates before the Flash confronted the Deadly Nightshade, wounding the Flash. Due to their similar appearances, the real Nightshade was framed for the murders. Using his wealth, Bohannan built a high-tech lair inside his mansion & an advanced cybernetic exoskeleton, which gave Bohannan super-speed similar to the Flash. Bohannan challenged the Flash to a duel, but was defeated when the Flash used superior tactics to trap Bohannan, who was then tranquilized by the original Nightshade and arrested by the police.|
|Jeri Ryan||Felicia Kane||A wealthy heiress kidnapped and held for ransom by pro-Guevara Marxist revolutionaries; rescued by the Deadly Nightshade, who ruthlessly gunned down Ms. Kane's kidnappers, then freed by the Flash. Severely traumatized by her ordeal, Ms. Kane's testimony nevertheless cleared the original Nightshade of any wrongdoing.|
|Denise Crosby||Dr. Rebecca Frost||A psychologist specializing in psychoanalyzing masked vigilantes such as the Flash, assigned to be Felicia Kane's psychiatrist. Briefly dated Barry Allen.|
|Bill Mumy||Roger Braintree||Eccentric but brilliant scientist who created a sonic device capable of putting its targets into a deep slumber. Braintree's cousin, small-time hoodlum Harry Milgrim, stole the device and used it in a crime spree until he was caught by the Flash.|
Other guest stars in minor roles include Jonathan Brandis as Terry Cohan, Bryan Cranston as Phillip Moses, Mark Dacascos as Osako, Robert O'Reilly as Victor Kelso, and Sven-Ole Thorsen as the android assassin Omega.
|1||22||September 20, 1990||May 18, 1991||1990-1991|
The series' pilot episode features an accident in which Central City Police forensic scientist Barry Allen's crime lab is struck by lightning. Allen's electrified body is flung into and shatters a cabinet of chemicals, which are both electrified and forced to interact with each other and with his physiology when they come into physical contact with his body. He soon discovers, with the help of S.T.A.R. Labs scientist Tina McGee, that the accident has changed his body's metabolism and as a result he has gained the ability to move at superhuman speed. To avenge the murder of his brother, motorcycle police officer Jay (Tim Thomerson), Barry demands that Tina modify a red S.T.A.R. Labs prototype deep sea diving suit, designed to withstand tremendous pressures, into his costume, to which she reluctantly complies. Thus, Barry Allen becomes the Flash.
Film and television veteran Robert Shayne appeared in several episodes as the blind newsstand owner where Barry bought his papers. Shayne has achieved a level of stardom years earlier as Inspector Henderson on The Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves. Shayne was by this time blind in real life and learned his lines by rehearsing with his wife until he memorized them.
Rogues gallery 
The series initially had a dark and gritty tone, and focused on having the Flash confront decidedly human villains, like corrupt officials and mobsters. Midway through the show's run, however, a few of the Flash's familiar "Rogues Gallery" of colorful super-villains began making appearances.
Captain Cold, played by Michael Champion, and the Mirror Master, played by David Cassidy as a disgraced expert in holograms, also appeared in their own episodes. Although the series included DC characters, the interpretations were radically different from the source material, with the exception of Hamill's Trickster, though even he was altered somewhat - turned from a con-man and a largely benign criminal into a delusional mass murderer. Captain Cold, for instance, was turned into an albino hitman who murdered his victims by literally freezing them to death; while the Mirror Master was little more than a common thug with a nickname and advanced hologram technology.
Ultimately, these appearances were too little too late to save the show, which struggled with a high per-episode price tag, stiff competition from NBC and Fox's strong Thursday night lineups, as well as frequent pre-emptions due to breaking coverage of the Gulf War. With the series' second episode, the one-hour program was shifted to the 8:30pm slot to avoid the media blitz caused by The Simpsons scheduled opposite The Cosby Show at 8:00. The unusual 8:30 slot did not work and the series floundered when moved to 9pm. The remaining episodes aired on Saturday nights where it faced cancellation after a single season. A brief attempt at rerunning the series in the summer on Fridays in hopes of finding an audience and reversing the cancellation also failed. Had the show continued, it was revealed the second season would have opened with the Flash's rogues teaming up to take down the hero.
Comic book 
A comic book tie-in special based on the TV series was published by DC Comics in 1991 titled The Flash TV Special #1, running at 76 pages. It features two stories, one written by John Byrne with art by Javier Saltares, and the second written by then-writer of the ongoing Flash title, Mark Waid featuring a thief Kid Flash; plus a behind-the-scenes look on the making of the TV series with photos.
Video game 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2011)|
A video game was released for Game Boy in 1991 by THQ, and was based on the TV series. It was released in the US and had a password system. A second game was programmed by Probe and released only in Europe for the Master System in 1993.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2011)|
In 2010, a limited-edition two-disc soundtrack was released by La-La Land Records, featuring Danny Elfman's main theme and the scores by series composer Shirley Walker for the pilot and the episodes "Captain Cold", "The Trickster", "Watching the Detective", "Ghost in the Machine", "Done With Mirrors", "Fast Forward", and "Trial of the Trickster".
See also 
- "The Flash: The Complete Series". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- King, Susan (1990-09-19). "'Flash' Suits Up for a Sizzling TV Ratings Race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "'The Flash' Is Sizzling". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Top 10 Comic to TV Adaptations". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
- "On CBS, the Flash Faces Toughest Foes Yet: 'Cosby' and 'Simpsons'". Chicago Tribune. 1990-08-30. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- Martin, Sue (1990-11-07). "High-Tech Flash-Forward". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "The History of DC Comics on TV". IGN. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- Buck, Jerry (1990-12-21). "Actor Seeks Substance Under Hero's Surface". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Will CBS' Gee-whiz 'Flash' Shine More Than Once?". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Watch Out, Flash! Here Comes... Bart?". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "The Flash: The Fastest Show On Television". Comic Book Bin. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- Hofius, Jason; George Khoury (2010). Age Of TV Heroes: The Live-Action Adventures Of Your Favorite Comic Book Characters. TwoMorrows Publishing. ISBN 1-60549-010-5.
- The Flash at the Internet Movie Database
- The Flash at TV.com
- The Flash II: Revenge of the Trickster at the Internet Movie Database
- Flash III: Deadly Nightshade at the Internet Movie Database
- Episode Guide from SciFi.com
- Crimson Lightning - A blog featuring regular reviews of The Flash television series.
- Interview about the series with lead actor John Wesley Shipp
- Pet Fly Podcast Page Including a downloadable commentary track in which series developers Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo discuss the "Trial of the Trickster" episode
- The TV series on Hyperborea