Arrow (TV series)

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Not to be confused with the television series Arrows (TV series) or The Arrow. For other uses of "Arrow", see Arrow (disambiguation).
Arrow
Arrow TV series logo.jpg
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 3
No. of episodes 69 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Greg Berlanti
  • Marc Guggenheim
  • Andrew Kreisberg
  • Sarah Schechter
  • David Nutter (pilot)
Producer(s)
Location(s) British Columbia
Cinematography
  • Glen Winter
  • Gordon Verheul
  • C. Kim Miles
  • Corey Robson
  • Joseph Antonetti
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original channel The CW
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release October 10, 2012 (2012-10-10) – present
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Official website
Production website

Arrow is an American television series developed by writer/producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. It is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, a costumed crime-fighter created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp. It premiered in North America on The CW on October 10, 2012, with international broadcasting taking place in late 2012. Primarily filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the series follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, portrayed by Stephen Amell, who, five years after being stranded on a hostile island, returns home to fight crime and corruption as a secret vigilante whose weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. Unlike in the comic books, Queen does not go by the alias "Green Arrow".

The series takes a realistic look at the Green Arrow character, as well as other characters from the DC Comics universe. Although Oliver Queen/Green Arrow had been featured in the television series Smallville from 2006 to 2011, the producers decided to start clean and find a new actor (Amell) to portray the character. Arrow focuses on the humanity of Oliver Queen, and how he was changed by time spent shipwrecked on an island. Most episodes have flashback scenes to the five years in which Oliver was missing.

Arrow has received generally positive reviews from critics, and was the CW's highest-rated new series in five years. The series averaged about 3.68 million viewers over the course of the first season, and has received three awards and multiple nominations. To promote it, a preview comic book was released before the television series began, while webisodes featuring a product tie-in with Bose were developed for the second season. The first and second seasons are available on DVD and Blu-ray in regions 1, 2 and 4; a soundtrack was also released for the first two seasons. The third season premiered on October 8, 2014,[1] with a spin-off series set in the same universe, titled The Flash, that aired on October 7, 2014.[1] On January 11, 2015, Arrow was renewed for a 23-episode fourth season.[2][3] A second spin-off, Legends of Tomorrow, is currently in development.[4]

Series overview[edit]

The series follows Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), billionaire playboy of Starling City, who spends five years shipwrecked on a mysterious island. Upon his return to Starling City, he is reunited with his mother, Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson), his sister, Thea Queen (Willa Holland), and his friend, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). The first season focuses on Oliver rekindling his relationships and spending his nights hunting down and sometimes killing wealthy criminals as a hooded vigilante. He uncovers a conspiracy to destroy "The Glades", a poorer section of the city that has become overridden with crime. John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) assist Oliver in his crusade. Oliver also reconnects with ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), who is still angry over his role in her sister's presumed death. The first season also features flashbacks to Oliver's time on the island, and how it changed him; this continues in subsequent seasons.

In season two, Oliver has vowed to stop crime without killing criminals, and comes under attack from Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), a man from Oliver's time on the island who resurfaces with a vendetta against him. Oliver must also contend with outside forces attempting to take over Queen Consolidated, guilt from decisions he made in the past, and secrets harbored by his family and friends. Oliver grows to accept aspiring vigilante Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) as his protégé, and begins to receive assistance from Laurel's father, Officer Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Oliver also gains another ally; a mysterious woman in black, who is eventually revealed to be Laurel's sister, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), who had survived her ordeal at sea years prior.

In season three, Arrow has become a public hero in Starling City following Slade Wilson's defeat. Queen Consolidated is sold to wealthy businessman, scientist, and aspiring hero Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh). Oliver struggles to bring his family back together, an old enemy returns, and Oliver becomes embroiled into a conflict with Ra's al Ghul (Matthew Nable). After a rocky start, Laurel sets out to follow in Sara's footsteps as the Black Canary. John Diggle struggles with his new role as a family man, as Oliver no longer wants him in the field after the birth of John's daughter, while Felicity Smoak begins a new career as Vice President of Palmer Technologies (formerly Queen Consolidated).

Cast[edit]

  • Stephen Amell portrays Oliver Queen / Arrow, a billionaire playboy turned hooded vigilante, who is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow. After surviving a ship wreck on an isolated island for five years, Oliver returns to his home city with a mission to right the wrongs of his father and save the city from the crime that has grown in his absence. Amell was one of the first actors to audition for the role, and Kreisberg felt that he "hit the target from the outset" and "everyone else just paled in comparison".[5] The actor, who was already in shape from Rent-a-Goalie, did physical fitness training at Tempest Freerunning Academy out of Reseda, California. Amell received archery training as well, which included watching a video on how archery has been displayed inaccurately or poorly in television and film before learning the basics of shooting a bow.[5] For Amell, the appeal of portraying Queen was that he saw multiple roles tied to the same character: "There’s Queen the casual playboy; Queen the wounded hero; Queen the brooding Hamlet; Queen the lover; Queen the man of action, and so on."[5]
  • Katie Cassidy portrays Laurel Lance / Black Canary, based on the DC Comics character Black Canary,[6][7] an attorney turned vigilante and former girlfriend of Oliver Queen. Like Oliver, Laurel fights for the people of Starling City. In the first season, she works for a non-profit legal office that helps people in need. In the second season, she became assistant district attorney, but in the second half of the third season, she became a vigilante taking her late sister's place as Black Canary. Cassidy said she was drawn to the show by Berlanti, Nutter, Kreisberg, and Guggenheim, whom she called smart, creative, and edgy.[8] Cassidy sees her character as a "caregiver" to her family, which led her to become an attorney. She said, "I think that she's very, very driven, and she has a huge heart [...] she's sensitive. She has really strong morals and values, and she expects everybody to live up to them the way that she does."[9]
  • Colin Donnell portrays Tommy Merlyn, Oliver's best friend,[10] who eventually learns of Oliver's secret life as a vigilante. Like Oliver, Tommy has romantic feelings for Laurel. His father is Malcolm Merlyn, the main antagonist in season one. Tommy dies saving Laurel at the end of the first season's finale, leaving Oliver and Laurel to cope with this loss.
  • David Ramsey portrays John Diggle, Oliver's partner, confidant, and bodyguard.[11] Diggle is ex-military, and works to have Oliver channel his abilities into helping others in the city, and not just taking down the wealthy, corrupt businessmen that worked with Oliver's father. Named after comic book writer Andy Diggle, and created specifically for the show, Diggle was designed to be Oliver's "equal in many respects". Guggenheim further explained that Diggle's mutual abilities are a means of setting him up early in the series as a confidant for Oliver's vigilante persona.[12]
  • Willa Holland portrays Thea Queen, Oliver's younger sister.[13] Thea develops a drug habit early in season one, but gets clean after criminal charges are brought against her for driving while under the influence. In season two, she learns that Malcolm Merlyn is her biological father, and begins training with him at the start of season three. In the third season, Thea learns Oliver's secret and eventually joins his team.
  • Susanna Thompson portrays Moira Queen, Oliver and Thea's mother.[14] Moira is revealed to also be part of the secret organization her late husband was involved with, which is making plans to bring down the city as a means of rebuilding it in the image of the organization's leader.
  • Paul Blackthorne portrays Detective Quentin Lance, Laurel's father and Starling City police detective.[15] The character is based on the DC Comics character, Larry Lance, who was also a detective, and husband to Dinah Drake Lance and father to Dinah Laurel Lance. Detective Lance blames Oliver for the presumed death of his daughter, Sara, as she was with him on his family yacht when it sank. In Season 1 Lance is also out to capture the vigilante, who he sees as a menace to the city for the vigilante's willingness to break the law and kill in the pursuit of stopping crime. In season 2, Lance had been demoted to beat cop and was now more accepting of the vigilante's actions to the point of teaming up with him when needed. In season 3, Lance is promoted as police captain but can no longer be active in the field due to his heart condition.
  • Emily Bett Rickards portrays Felicity Smoak,[16] the IT technician at Queen Consolidated who has become part of Oliver's vigilante team. The DC Comics character of the same name was the step-mother of Ronnie Raymond and manager of a computer software company.[17] Like Diggle, Felicity also serves as Oliver's friend and confidant. Rickards was promoted to a series regular for season two, after having been a recurring character throughout season one. In the third season, she becomes a love interest of Oliver Queen.[18]
  • Colton Haynes portrays Roy Harper / Arsenal, a character based on the DC Comics character of the same name.[19] Initially a petty thief, Roy was befriended by Thea, and subsequently dated her for a period of time. Roy is fascinated by the hooded vigilante, and eventually becomes his protégé. Haynes was moved to series regular status at the beginning of season two, following his recurring appearance in the first season.[20] Haynes left the series at the end of season three after his contract ended.[21]
  • Manu Bennett portrays Slade Wilson / Deathstroke, a character based on the DC Comics character of the same name.[22] Slade is an ASIS agent who teamed up with Oliver during his time on the island. However, in season two Slade arrives in Starling City to kill Oliver out of vengeance for events that occurred on the island. Bennett was initially cast as a recurring character for season one,[22] before receiving series regular status during season two.[23]
  • John Barrowman portrays Malcolm Merlyn, Tommy's father; he is based on the DC Comics character Merlyn, an archenemy of Green Arrow in the comics. Malcolm sabotaged Oliver’s family yacht, and is thus responsible of Robert Queen’s death and indirectly the creation of Oliver's and Sara Lance’s vigilante alter egos. Malcolm is apparently killed by Oliver in the first season finale, but his plan to destroy the Glades still succeeds.[24] In season two, it is revealed that he did not die, that he was trained by the League of Assassins, and he is the biological father of Thea Queen. After being a recurring guest star for the first two seasons, Barrowman became a series regular at the beginning of season three.[25]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On January 12, 2012, The CW was preparing a new series centered around the character Green Arrow, developed by Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim.[26] A week later, the series, now known as Arrow, was ordered to pilot, which was directed by David Nutter, who also directed the pilot for Smallville, a series following Clark Kent on his journey to become Superman.[27] At the end of the month, Stephen Amell was cast in the titular role of Oliver Queen.[28] When developing the series, producer Marc Guggenheim expressed that the creative team wanted to "chart [their] own course, [their] own destiny", and avoid any direct connections to Smallville, which featured its own Green Arrow/Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley), opting to cast a new actor in the role of Oliver Queen.[5] Unlike with Smallville, the series does not initially feature super-powered heroes and villains. Instead, the creative still took inspiration from Smallville, as one of the main themes of Arrow was to "look at the humanity" of Oliver Queen, as Smallville had done with Clark Kent. The decision not to include superpowers was, in part, based on the executives' desire to take a realistic look at the characters in this universe.[29] Production on the pilot began in March 2012 in Vancouver,[30] which would continue to act as the primary filming location for the series.[5] The series' skyline shots use a combination of footage from Frankfurt, Germany, Center City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Back Bay, Boston, and Tokyo, Japan.[31] The series was given a full season pick up on October 22, 2012.[32]

"I think the idea is to—not all the time, and not with a set regularity—but I think it is critical to explore how he went from the person that he was when he left the island—which is extremely different: he’s spoiled, he’s entitled, he’s a bit of a jerk—and he comes off it something very, very different. So we’re going to explore how he gets there."[29]

—Stephen Amell on the use of flashback storytelling.

Arrow features two storylines: one in the present, and the other, shown in flashback, during Oliver's time on the island five years before his rescue. These flashbacks are used to illustrate how Oliver transformed into the man that returns to Starling City.[29] Filming for the island flashbacks takes place in Vancouver's Whytecliff Park area, near beachfront homes. Much planning is required to keep the buildings out of camera frame.[33] Guggenheim said, "Stephen [Amell] has to wear a wig, and his look has to be changed... there's a lot. It's actually incredibly ambitious to do these flashbacks every week, every single episode. Because like Andrew [Kreisberg] said, it's almost like it's its own show."[33]

The series develops relationship triangles: some love triangles, others designed to catch characters in "philosophical debates".[34] Kreisberg provides one such example: "Every week, Oliver will be facing a bad guy, but the truth is, his real nemesis is Detective Lance, who's trying to bring him into justice.[...] His daughter is going to be caught in the middle, because she loves and respects her father, and she's always believed in what he believed, but at the same time, she's going to see this dark urban legend out there that's actually doing a lot of good; the kind of good that she wants to be doing in her role as a legal aid attorney."[34] Learning from previous experiences working in television, the producers worked early on identifying the major story arcs for the series, specifically the first season, including "mapping out" how to accomplish them. Taking inspiration from Christopher Nolan's Batman film series, the creative team decided to "put it all out there" and "not hold back" from episode to episode.[34]

The team strives to include various DC Comics characters and aspects of the DC universe. Guggenheim cited Big Belly Burger, a restaurant franchise introduced in the Superman comics, which appears in Arrow's third episode and onward. Kreisberg said, "There are so many characters in the DC Universe who haven't gotten their due in TV and film. We're so excited to reach into [the DC comics] roster and take some of these lesser-known characters that are beloved by fans, and do our spin on the characters."[33]

Costume design[edit]

The Arrow costume, worn by Stephen Amell

The realistic approach to the series included the costume design for Oliver's vigilante persona, created by Colleen Atwood.[35] According to Amell, it was important for the suit to be functional, and the best way that he knew for that was if he could put the costume on by himself: "If I can put it on by myself, I think that people will buy it. And that was our idea. That’s our world."[29]

In the second half of season two, Oliver replaces his "paint" mask with a domino mask, similar to one worn by the character in the comics. The change is addressed on-screen, with Kreisberg saying, "He doesn't just put on a mask. It's actually a big plot point in an episode, and there really is a story behind, not only the need for the mask but also who provides him with it."[36] On adding the mask now, Kreisberg stated that, "Conceptually, it was something we wanted to do because Oliver himself is evolving as the Arrow—from vigilante to hero, sort of from Arrow to Green Arrow—and we wanted to see that progression in his costume as well. As Oliver is embracing being a hero, being a hero means stepping out of the dark and being more of a symbol, so he has to take steps to conceal his identity more."[36] He added that it will "allow the Arrow to interact with people who don't know his identity in a much more organic way than having him constantly keep his head down."[36]

Costume designer Maya Mani put together roughly 50 mask options for the producers. Kreisberg said, "What's so wonderful about the design that Maya came up with is that it really is very simple, and it feels as if it’s been part of his costume since the beginning...once we finally had this mask and put it on Stephen [Amell], even Stephen was like, 'This is the right one.'"[36] In the episode "Three Ghosts", Oliver receives the mask from Barry Allen, who is able to create a mask that will help conceal his identity, while still being functional and allowing Oliver to see clearly.[37]

Music[edit]

To compose the score for Arrow, executive producer Greg Berlanti invited Blake Neely, with whom he had first worked with on Everwood. Neely created a score that combined electronic and orchestral cues, varying between action themes and romantic ones. According to Neely, "Of course, Oliver has his main theme but also sub-themes for the many layers of his character. He and Laurel have a love theme. Mom had a theme for the Undertaking. The bad guys all have themes, which makes it sad for me when one of them dies. So I try not to become attached to bad guy themes. Diggle has a theme. Even the Island itself has a theme."[38] A soundtrack for season one was released on September 17, 2013 by WaterTower Music.[39][40] Two versions of a soundtrack for season two was released on September 16, 2014 by WaterTower Music and La La Land Records; the compact disc release includes with two exclusive tracks not available on the digital release.[41][42] On December 18, 2014, WaterTower Music and La La Records released a selection of music from The Flash/Arrow crossover episodes, as well as two bonus tracks from their respective 2014 midseason finales.[43]

Broadcast[edit]

Arrow premiered on The CW network from October 10, 2012, during the 2012–13 television season.[44][45] In Canada, the show is broadcast simultaneously on the same day as the United States.[46] The show premiered outside North America in South Africa on October 19, 2012,[47] and throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland,[48] on Wednesday October 22, 2012.[49] In Australia, the series premiered on May 1, 2013.[50]

Critical reception[edit]

Season one received favorable reviews, with a Metacritic score of 73 out of 100, based on reviews from 25 critics, making it the highest rated CW show in five years.[51][52] Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes calculated an approval rating of 86%, based on 35 reviews, for the first season. The site's consensus reads: "The CW nails the target with Arrow, a comic book-inspired series that benefits from cinematic action sequences, strong plotting, and intriguing characters."[53]

Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times called the series an interesting setup with a quality look, describing Amell as "a poster boy (no doubt literally) for the Katniss Everdeen set."[54] Brian Lowry at Variety described the series as a "handsome but stiff surrogate for Batman that could benefit from sharper execution."[55] In reviewing the final episode of season one, Alasdair Wilkins of The A.V. Club gave the season as a whole a rating of B+, noting that the show "hasn’t quite figured everything out yet, but it’s had some standout episodes."[56]

Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly gave the first half of season two a rating of B+, saying, "Arrow possesses an intelligence that shines through its TV-budget production values, which aren't too shabby. The writing is adult and witty, the action is exciting, and Amell holds the center with well-cultivated ease."[57] The A.V. Club‍ '​s Carrie Raisler gave the first half of season two a rating of A-. She said, "Arrow [has] officially established itself as one of the most satisfying shows on television. The most satisfying thing of all is that it did so by respecting its characters... [Arrow respects] the character’s comic-book roots in its overarching plotlines, all while using the network-appropriate soap-opera stories to do the heavy character lifting."[58]

Ratings[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired Nielsen ratings
First aired Last aired Rank Average viewership
(in millions)
1 23 October 10, 2012 (2012-10-10) May 15, 2013 (2013-05-15) 119 3.68[59]
2 23 October 9, 2013 (2013-10-09) May 14, 2014 (2014-05-14) 128 3.28[60]
3 23 October 8, 2014 (2014-10-08) May 13, 2015 (2015-05-13) 111 2.77[61]
4 23[3] October 7, 2015 (2015-10-07)[62] TBA TBD TBD

Arrow‍ '​s premiere episode drew 4.14 million viewers, making it The CW’s most-watched telecast of any show on any night in three years, and The CW’s most-watched series premiere since The Vampire Diaries in 2009. In its second episode, Arrow became the only new network drama in the 2012–13 season to hold its ratings in both adults 18-34 and adults 18-49 from its premiere to its second week.[32]

In Australia, the premiere received 1.32 million viewers, making it the third most-watched broadcast on the network that night.[63] The UK broadcast was the highest-rated telecast of the week on Sky 1, with 1.85 million viewers.[64] In Canada, the first episode got 1.32 million viewers, making it the fourth most-watched airing of the night and the twenty-third of the week.[65]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients Outcome
2012 Satellite Awards[66] Satellite Award for Best Television Series – Genre Arrow Nominated
IGN Awards[citation needed] Best TV Hero Stephen Amell/Arrow Nominated
2013 People's Choice Awards[citation needed] Favorite New TV Drama Arrow Nominated
Leo Awards[67][68] Best Dramatic Series Joseph Patrick Finn, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Melissa Kellner Berman, Drew Greenberg, Jennifer Lence, Wendy Mericle, Carl Ogawa Nominated
Cinematography Glen Winter ("Pilot") Won
Gordon Verheul ("Lone Gunman") Nominated
Best Visual Effects Jean-Luc Dinsdale, Pauline Burns, Andrew Orloff, Dave Gauthier ("Burned") Won
Best Production Design Richard Hudolin ("Pilot") Won
Best Casting Coreen Mayrs, Heike Brandstatter ("An Innocent Man") Nominated
Best Stunt Coordination J.J. Makaro ("Pilot") Won
J.J. Makaro ("Vertigo") Nominated
NewNowNext Awards[69] Best New Indulgence Arrow Nominated
Cause You’re Hot Stephen Amell Nominated
Saturn Awards[70] Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television Arrow Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[71] Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi Nominated
Choice TV Breakout Show Nominated
Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi Stephen Amell Nominated
Choice TV Breakout Star Nominated
Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi Katie Cassidy Nominated
Canadian Society of Cinematography Awards[72] Cinematographer Awards for TV Drama Cinematography Glen Winter csc, Arrow ("Pilot") Won
Broadcast Music, Inc.[citation needed] BMI Television Music Awards Blake Neely Won
TV Guide Award[citation needed] Favorite New Series Arrow Won
2014 IGN Awards[citation needed] Best TV Hero Stephen Amell/Arrow 2nd Place
People's Choice Awards[73] Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor Stephen Amell Nominated
Satellite Awards[74] Satellite Award for Best Television Series – Genre Arrow Nominated
Saturn Awards[75] Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television Arrow Nominated
Leo Awards[76] Program Greg Berlanti, Joseph P. Finn, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Wendy Mericle[77] Nominated
Cinematography Gordon Verheul ("Sacrifice") Nominated
Make-Up Danielle Fowler ("Keep Your Enemies Closer") Nominated
Stunt Coordination J. J. Makaro ("The Scientist") Nominated
Lead Performance - Male Stephen Amell ("Crucible") Nominated
Lead Performance - Female Emily Bett Rickards ("Three Ghosts") Nominated
Constellation Awards[78] Best Male Performance in a 2013 Science Fiction Television Episode Stephen Amell ("The Odyssey") Nominated
Best Science Fiction Television Series of 2013 Arrow Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[79] Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi Arrow Nominated
Choice TV Female Breakout Star[80] Emily Bett Rickards Nominated
Young Hollywood Awards[81] Super Superhero Stephen Amell Nominated
2015 Saturn Awards[82] Best Superhero Adaption Television Series Arrow Pending
Leo Awards[83]
Cinematography C. Kim Miles ("Blind Spot") Nominated
Costume Design Maya Mani ("Suicide Squad") Nominated
Lead Performance - Female Emily Bett Rickards ("Left Behind") Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[84] Choice TV Show: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Arrow Pending
Choice TV Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Stephen Amell Pending
Choice TV Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Emily Bett Rickards Pending

Other media[edit]

Arrow has generated other media and spinoffs, including digital comic books and Internet-based mini-episodes with characters from the series.

Digital comics[edit]

To promote the series, DC Comics produced a 10-page preview comic for the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, written by Kreisberg, illustrated by Omar Francia, and featuring a cover by artist Mike Grell. The comic was regarded by the production crew as sharing the same canon as the series, with Kreisberg commenting, "[For] anyone who grabs a copy: Hold onto it and as the series progresses, you'll appreciate it more and more."[85] It was later released free online.[86] On October 10, 2012, DC Comics debuted a weekly digital comic tie-in written by Kreisberg and Guggenheim and drawn by various artists, including Mike Grell, which remained in continuity with the television series.[87] The series lasted for 36 chapters, running until June 2013. These were collected, together with the initial preview comic, into Arrow: Volume 1, released in October 2013.[88][89] Titan Magazines published the comics in a physical format in the UK. The first issue was published on October 17, 2013 and contained the first four chapters of the series, with the complete series lasting 6 issues.[88][90]

A follow up to the original digital title, Arrow: Season 2.5, is written by Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu, one of the show's executive story editors and writers, with art by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson. Arrow 2.5 is intended to tell one continuous story across two arcs, that fits within the television narrative. Guggenheim stated, "We've tried to put in all the elements that people like about the show... We're going to see what's happened to Detective Lance after he collapsed in the season [two] finale. A good chunk of the burning questions left over will get answered in the tie-in comic. Particularly towards the latter half of the series, we're going to start introducing characters [in the comic] who you'll see in Season 3... before they show up on TV."[91] On the comic's relationship to season three of the show, Guggenheim said, "Season three is designed to stand on its own feet without requiring anyone to do any outside reading. But what the comic book will give is a deeper appreciation for some of the moments [in the show] and a more complete narrative experience. If you want to go deeper into the story, that's what Season 2.5 is for." Shimizu added that the comic also allows the writers to "accomplish things on the page that are nearly impossible to do with our production schedule and our budget", including bigger action sequences, as well as visits to locations such as Kahndaq that cannot be recreated on the show. Additionally, the series has one to two pages each issue dedicated to the Suicide Squad, leading up to their own issue later in the run.[92] The character Caleb Green, who has ties to Robert Queen, will be created specifically for the comic.[93] Guggenheim said "The goal is to end Season 2.5 basically five minutes before Season 3 begins."[94] The comic launched digitally biweekly on September 1, 2014, with its first physical release featuring a collection of the digital releases releasing on October 8.[91] The series is expected to feature 24 digital issues, which will comprise 12 physical issues.[93]

Promotional tie-in[edit]

On November 6, 2013, a six-episode series of shorts, titled Blood Rush, premiered alongside the broadcast of the show, as well as online. The series, which was presented by Bose, and features product placement for Bose products, was shot on location in Vancouver, similarly to the main show. The miniseries features Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes and Paul Blackthorne reprising their roles of Felicity Smoak, Roy Harper and Quentin Lance, respectively.[95]

The episodes show Roy coming to Queen Consolidated to have a meeting with Oliver. As he is out, Felicity tells Roy to go wait in the lobby.[96] As Roy leaves, Officer Lance calls Felicity, telling her that the blood sample the Starling City police found on the vigilante, which Felicity destroyed, has resurfaced. Felicity then calls Roy, using Oliver's voice encoder, asking him to break in to the lab to retrieve the sample.[97] Felicity guides Roy through the lab, where he is able to recover the sample. As Roy is leaving, doctors enter the room, seemingly trapping him.[98] He notifies Felicity, who then hacks into the building's PA system, and issues an evacuation notice, giving Roy a chance to escape.[99] Roy gets out of the room before it enters into lock down, and is able to avoid two guards with the help of Felicity and exit the lab.[100] Roy returns to Queen Consolidated, and Felicity offers to mail the acquired sample for Roy as he goes in to meet with Oliver.[101]

Video games[edit]

A Green Arrow skin based on Oliver Queen's appearance in Arrow appears in the 2013 video game Injustice: Gods Among Us as downloadable content. The playable skin was given as a bonus reward to the first 5000 voters of Injustice‍ '​s promotional Battle Arena competition, but was later released as a free download. Stephen Amell lends his voice and likeness to the skin.[102]

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham features an Arrow downloadable content pack that adds multiple playable characters, including Arrow, John Diggle, Felicity Smoak, Huntress, Slade Wilson, Roy Harper, Canary, and Malcolm Merlyn as well as vehicles and an exclusive level set during Oliver's time in Lian Yu. Amell reprised his role in addition to voicing the traditional Green Arrow in the game.[103]

Shared universe[edit]

The Flash[edit]

In July 2013, it was announced that Berlanti and Kreisberg, along with Nutter and Geoff Johns, would be creating a television series based on The Flash, with an origin story for Barry Allen.[104] The character, played by actor Grant Gustin, was set to appear in three episodes of season two of Arrow, with the final one acting as a backdoor pilot for the new series.[105] However, it was announced in November 2013 that the backdoor pilot would not be happening, with a traditional pilot being made instead. The decision was made after the first two appearances of the character were well received by CW executives who saw the material. At the time, no decision was made as to whether the character would be featured in the third episode, which was set for the end of the second season and had not been written.[106] It was also confirmed that the character's superhero persona would not be featured on Arrow as originally intended, but will be saved for the pilot episode of the new series.[107] In January 2014, The Flash was officially ordered for a pilot episode.[108] In July 2014, Kreisberg stated that a crossover event would occur in the eighth episode of the first season of The Flash and the third season of Arrow, respectively.[109] The series premiered on October 7, 2014.[1] In early January 2015, The CW president Mark Pedowitz announced the intention to do a Flash/Arrow crossover every season.[110]

In March 2014, it was announced that Gustin would not appear in a third episode as originally planned. Instead, Danielle Panabaker and Carlos Valdes, who were cast in The Flash as S.T.A.R. Labs' Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon, respectively, appeared in the episode "The Man Under the Hood".[111] Gustin had a brief cameo appearance in the Arrow season three premiere, "The Calm".[112] Gustin, Panabaker, and Valdes make an appearance in the eighth episode of season 3, "The Brave and The Bold". Valdes appeared once again on Arrow in the season three episode "Broken Arrow",[113] while Gustin appeared in the final episode of season three, "My Name is Oliver Queen".[114]

In May 2014, it was revealed that Amell would appear as Oliver Queen / Arrow in The Flash‍ '​s pilot episode.[115] In July 2014, Kreisberg stated that Rickards would appear in the fourth episode of The Flash as Felicity.[109] 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.[116] Oliver Queen, John Diggle, and Felicity Smoak appear in the eigtht episode of The Flash, "Flash vs Arrow". This is the first major billed crossover between the two shows. Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity come to Central City in search of Digger Harkness. While there, Oliver encounters Barry, who is pursuing Rainbow Raider. Members of The Royal Flush Gang made a cameo appearance in the eleventh episode of the series.[117] In January 2015, it was revealed that Rickards and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer would appear in the eighteenth episode of The Flash, "All-Star Team-Up".[118] In March 2015, it was revealed that Cassidy and Blackthorne, as Laurel Lance and Quentin Lance, respectively, would appear in the nineteenth episode, "Who is Harrison Wells?",[119][120][121] while Amell and Doug Jones as Jake Simmons / Deathbolt would appear in the twenty-second episode, "Rogue Air".[122][123][121]

Vixen[edit]

Main article: Vixen (web series)

In January 2015, the CW announced that an animated web-series featuring the DC heroine Vixen would be debuting on CW Seed in late 2015. It will be set in the universe of Arrow and The Flash.[124] Amell and Gustin will reprise their roles as Oliver Queen / Arrow and Barry Allen / Flash, respectively.[125]

DC's Legends of Tomorrow[edit]

Main article: Legends of Tomorrow

In February 2015, it was reported that a spin-off series, which is described as a superhero team-up show, was in discussion by The CW for a possible 2015-16 midseason release. Berlanti and Kreisberg would executive produce alongside Guggenheim and Sarah Schechter. The potential series would be headlined by several recurring characters from both Arrow and The Flash, including Ray Palmer, Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller), Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell). Caity Lotz also headlines the series, reprising her role as Sara Lance and receiving the new moniker, White Canary. There is potential for other Arrow/Flash characters to cross over to the new series.[126][127] On May 7, 2015, The CW officially picked up the series, titled DC's Legends of Tomorrow.[4]

Home release[edit]

Complete Season DVD/Blu-ray Release dates Additional info
Region 1/A Region 2/B Region 4/C
1 September 17, 2013[128] September 23, 2013[129] October 2, 2013[130] The DVD/Blu-ray box sets contain additional features, including making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, gag reel, and highlights from the Paley Fest 2012.
2 September 16, 2014[131] September 15, 2014[132] December 3, 2014[133]
3 September 22, 2015[134] September 28, 2015[135] TBA

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External links[edit]