Tonight saw John Wesley Shipp, the actor who first brought Barry Allen to live-action life in the 1990 The Flash TV series, return to that role 28 years later and meet up with his successor -- who, for reasons that are kind of hard to explain, was actually played by Stephen Amell rather than Grant Gustin at the time.
And Shipp was just about as excited about it as anybody, even though he admitted during a recent interview with ComicBook.com that it was a daunting job.
“I used to tell fans, if you keep asking about that, it’s going to happen,” Shipp told ComicBook.com recently. “All my horror stories about being in that original suit!”
Shipp said that he learned his lesson about being too vocal very early on in the new Flash, after having accidentally revealed the title of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow at a convention, not realizing it was still unknown.
“We kept it a secret during filming, when we were on a sound stage, but our last shot was outside in the alley,” Shipp said. “Even though they screened off both ends of the alley, the buildings were tall and people started coming out on their terraces with their cell phones and taking pictures.”
It was at that point that Stephen Amell teamed with CW publicity to get out ahead of the paparazzi.
When he first came back as Jay Garrick, Shipp told us that in his mind, his Jay Garrick had similar-but-not-identical life experiences to his Barry Allen.
“We established very early on that we weren’t trying to be 1990. It’s Earth-90, 27 years later,” Shipp said.
He added that he had more time for this than he did for Jay Garrick, and that he was able to work out and drop some weight to help accommodate the suit.
"Watching everybody's reaction" to his return as The Flash "makes my heart very full," he said.
"The excitement comes from my colleagues," he added. "I walked on set in the original suit and Grant said, 'Man, this is the coolest thing we've ever done!' I've never seen this cast as excited as they are for this crossover. Usually I come in after the crossover for the midseason finale, and everybody's like, 'Yeah, it was fun, but it was a lot of work.' This year, everybody is embracing this opportunity. It's so great, it's so well-written, it's so integrated to all three shows and has implications going forward. Everybody's really excited."
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT, before episodes of Black Lightning on The CW. New episodes will return in January.