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The Flash (2014 TV series)

The Flash
File: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 23 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Greg Berlanti
  • Andrew Kreisberg
  • David Nutter
  • Sarah Schechter
Producer(s)
Editor(s)
Location(s) British Columbia, Canada
Cinematography
  • Glen Winter (pilot)
  • C. Kim Miles
  • Jeffrey C. Mygatt
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 7, 2014 (2014-10-07) – present
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Official website
Production 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 Barry Allen / Flash, a costumed superhero crime-fighter with the power to move at superhuman speeds. It is a spin-off from Arrow, existing in the same fictional universe. The series follows Allen, portrayed by Grant Gustin, a crime scene investigator who gains super-human speed, which he uses to fight criminals, including others who have also gained superhuman abilities.

Initially envisioned as a backdoor pilot, the positive reception Gustin received during two appearances as Barry on Arrow led to executives choosing to develop a full pilot to make use of a larger budget and help flesh out Barry's world in more detail. Colleen Atwood, costume designer for Arrow, was brought in to design the Flash's suit, which was modeled after the comic books. The creative team wanted to make sure that the Flash would resemble his comic book counterpart, and not simply be a poor imitation. The series is primarily filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The Flash premiered in North America on October 7, 2014, where the pilot became the second-most watched premiere in the history of The CW, after The Vampire Diaries in 2009. It has received generally positive reviews from critics, and won the People's Choice Award for "Favorite New TV Drama" in 2014. On January 11, 2015, The CW renewed The Flash for a second season.[1]

Premise

After witnessing his mother's supernatural murder and his father's wrongful conviction for the crime, Barry Allen is taken in by Detective Joe 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 cutting-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. Fourteen years after his mother's death, an advanced particle accelerator malfunctions during its public unveiling, bathing the city center with a previously unknown form of radiation and creating a severe thunderstorm. Allen is struck by lightning from the storm and doused with chemicals in his lab. Awakening after a nine-month coma, he discovers he has the ability to move at superhuman speeds. Dr. Harrison Wells, the disgraced designer of the failed particle accelerator, describes Barry's special nature as "metahuman"; Allen soon discovers that he is not the only one who was 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.[2]

Cast

A Central City assistant police forensic investigator. Moments after an explosion at the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, Barry is struck by lightning in his laboratory and doused by chemicals affected by the accident. When he awakens from a nine-month coma, he has superhuman speed.[3] In September 2013, Grant Gustin was cast in the titular role.[3] Andy Mientus, who would eventually be cast as Hartley Rathaway, also auditioned for the role.[4] Gustin began researching the character during the audition process, and reading as many comics as possible. Gustin primarily focused on The New 52 series of comics, because he knew it would be difficult to read everything and he felt the New 52 was the closest to the show's "look and feel".[5]
Named after the civilian identity of the DC Comics character Killer Frost. A highly intelligent bioengineering expert, Caitlin believed her fiancé, Ronnie Raymond,[7] was killed during the particle accelerator explosion at S.T.A.R. Labs,[8] until he returned part way through first season. Ronnie and Caitlin get married in the first season finale, "Fast Enough".[9]
A recent transfer to the Central City Police Department, Eddie's past is a mystery and he harbored a dark secret.[8] He is partner to Detective Joe West and Iris West's love interest. He kills himself in the first season finale in order to wipe Eobard Thawne, his distant descendant, from history.[9]
  • Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon: Named after the civilian identity of the DC Comics character Vibe. A mechanical engineering genius, Cisco is the youngest member of the team of scientists at S.T.A.R. Labs.[10]
  • 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.[11] He serves as a mentor to Barry Allen after he exhibits his powers, but Dr. Wells is keeping secrets from Barry, including his plans for the speedster. Wells is ultimately revealed to be the Reverse-Flash, but unlike Barry, his super speed requires periodic recharging.[12][13] Wells eventually reveals he is actually Eobard Thawne (played by Matt Letscher) in disguise, a distant relative of Eddie.[14]
  • Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West: A cop who acts as a surrogate father to Barry after his mother's death and father's imprisonment, and who is the father of Iris West.[2][15]

Episodes

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No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
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U.S. viewers
(millions)

Production

Development

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 television series based on the Flash for The CW, and it would detail Barry Allen's origin.[16] Kreisberg revealed after the announcement that Allen would first appear as a recurring character on Arrow in three episodes of season two—all written by Berlanti, Kreisberg and Johns—and the last of the episodes would act as a backdoor pilot for the new show. Kreisberg added that Allen would be a forensic scientist and the introduction of his superpowers, as well as the reactions to this, will be very human and grounded. Johns stated that the character of the Flash in the show will resemble his comic book counterpart, complete with his trademark red costume, and not be a poor imitation. Kreisberg elaborated: "No sweat suits or strange code names; he will be The Flash." While researching the best way to depict the Flash's lightning speed, Johns stated it would not just be the standard "blurring around".[17]

Barry ultimately appeared twice in Arrow‍‍ '​‍s second season, with the planned backdoor pilot cancelled in favor of a traditional pilot by The CW executives, who had been impressed by early cuts of Barry's first two episodes on Arrow. This allowed the creative team to flesh out Barry's story and his world on a bigger budget, as opposed to a backdoor pilot's constraint of incorporating characters from the parent show. The pilot was officially ordered on January 29, 2014, and was written by Berlanti, Kreisberg, and Johns, and directed by Nutter.[18][19] On May 8, 2014, The Flash was officially picked up as a series, with an initial order of 13 episodes.[20] Three more episodes were ordered in September 2014 following a positive response to newly completed episodes by executives,[21] while seven more were confirmed the next month for a full 23-episode season.[22]

Design

The costume was designed by Colleen Atwood, who also designed the costumes for Arrow.[23] It features a burgundy color scheme, a masked helmet, and gold accents throughout,[24] and went through multiple adjustments from the moment it was placed in computer renderings to the day of filming the pilot.[5] Primarily made of leather, the suit contains areas with a stretchable material to allow Gustin room to bend. It initially took Gustin approximately 40 minutes to get into his costume, as the first cowl was prosthetic and had to be zipped and glued to his face. This was cut down to approximately 15 minutes by episode eight, when designers were able to develop a new cowl that easily slid over Gustin's face and locked into place.[5]

Filming

Production on the pilot began in March 2014, with filming taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia;[25] additional filming for the series takes place in Portland, Oregon.[26] 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."[27]

Music

Arrow composer Blake Neely also composes for this series.[28] On December 18, 2014, WaterTower Music released a selection of music from The Flash/Arrow crossover episodes, as well as two bonus tracks from their respective 2014 midseason finales.[29]

Broadcast

The Flash was screened at the Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment panel at San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2014.[30] The series officially premiered on The CW on October 7, 2014, during the 2014–15 television season[31] and also premiered in Canada on the same night.[32] The second episode was screened at New York Comic Con on October 9, 2014, as a way to repay the viewers that watched the series' premiere episode.[33] The series premiered in the United Kingdom and Ireland on October 28, 2014,[34] and in Australia on December 3, 2014.[35]

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."[36] 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."[37]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 96% approval rating with an average rating of 7.4/10 based on 55 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."[38] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 73 out of 100, based on 27 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[39] 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.[40]

Ratings

The first episode of The Flash 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.[41] Factoring Live + 7 day ratings, the pilot was watched 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.[42]

The Canadian premiere was watched by 3.11 million viewers, making it the most-watched broadcast that night and the second for that week.[43] In the United Kingdom, the premiere was the fourth highest-rated broadcast of the week and the eleventh of that month, with 1.53 million viewers.[44][45] The timeshifted version got 82,000 viewers.[46] The premiere in Australia was the most-watched broadcast on pay television, with 129,000 viewers tuning in.[47]

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.[48]

Shared universe

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.[2] 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."[49] Gustin had a brief cameo appearance in the Arrow season three premiere, "The Calm".[50] Valdes appeared once again in the season three episode "Broken Arrow",[51] while Gustin appeared in the final episode of season three, "My Name is Oliver Queen".[52]

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.[53] In early January 2015, The CW president Mark Pedowitz announced the intention to do a Flash/Arrow crossover every season.[54]

Amell appears as Oliver Queen / Arrow in the pilot episode.[55] Kreisberg announced that Rickards would appear in the fourth episode as Felicity.[53] Previous Arrow nemesis William Tockman / The Clock King (Robert Knepper) was in the seventh episode.[56] Members of The Royal Flush Gang, who previously appeared on Arrow, made a cameo appearance in the eleventh episode of the series.[57] Rickards and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer had scenes in the eighteenth episode, "All Star Team Up".[58][59] Katie Cassidy and Paul Blackthorne, as Laurel Lance / Black Canary and Detective Quentin Lance, respectively, appeared in the following episode, "Who Is Harrison Wells?",[60][61][62] while Amell and Doug Jones as Jake Simmons / Deathbolt appeared in the twenty-second episode, "Rogue Air".[62][63]

Vixen

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.[64] The character is expected to make a live-action appearance on The Flash and/or Arrow as well.[65] Gustin and Amell will reprise their roles as Barry Allen / Flash and Oliver Queen / Arrow, respectively.[66]

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

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 The Flash and Arrow, including Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller), Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber), Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh). Caity Lotz, who portrayed Sara Lance / Canary on Arrow, will reprise the role, taking on the alter-ego of White Canary.[67] There is potential for other Arrow and The Flash characters to cross over to the new series.[68][69] Berlanti also stated there was a particular reason that the other half of Firestorm, Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell), was not mentioned in the initial cast announcement.[70] On May 7, 2015, The CW picked up the series, titled DC's Legends of Tomorrow.[71]

Ciara Renée, who portrays Kendra Saunders / Hawkgirl on Legends, made a cameo appearance in the final episode of The Flash‍ '​s first season, "Fast Enough".[72]

Awards and nominations

The Flash won the "Favorite New TV Drama" People's Choice Award for 2014.[73]

Home release

Complete Season DVD/Blu-ray Release dates
Region 1/A Region 2/B Region 4/C
1 September 22, 2015[74] September 21, 2015[75] TBA

See also

References

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External links