In 1990, John Wesley Shipp starred in a single season of The Flash, a series that started strong in the ratings but soon struggled and, along with a hefty price tag, was quickly deemed not salvageable for a second year.
"When the subject of playing a superhero came up, I was extremely leery," Shipp told ComicBook.com. "Because the only idea I had in my mind, since we sort of reinvented how to tell comic book stories for television, everything up to that point that I knew about was very campy and sort of comedic, which is now cool again. In other words, retrospective back to the Batman series of the '60s now is cool again. In 1990, it wasn't. It was not where I saw my career going. I had delusions of being a serious actor and I could not imagine running around in a pair of red tights."
Years later, the series -- run by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo and featuring a theme by Danny Elfman of Batman and The Simpsons fame -- still has its fans, many of whom work on the current version of The Flash for The CW.
That led to Shipp being cast on that show -- first as Barry's father, Henry Allen, and then later as Jay Garrick, the Golden Age/Earth-3 Flash, who will be appearing more often in the second half of season 3 and serving as a mentor to Barry, as he did in the comics.
Last year, Shipp spoke to us about the first few episodes of The Flash before scheduling conflicts prevented us finishing a longer look at the season. We'll try and reconnect with him once we get past those early conversations, but in the meantime, we're going to look at it like we're doing Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman for Supergirl's hiatus: looking for Easter eggs.
So...what did we see? What did we miss?
Read on, and comment below.
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Barry Allen, Iris West, and Central City appear in the pilot. They, of course, are arguably the three most essentail elements of The Flash's mythology, and so they were bound to show up, making them not-really Easter eggs.
That said, it's worth at least mentioning, especially Iris, who had a much different role in this show (rather than his dream girl/endgame, she was a kind of on-again/off-again love interest who played a relatively minor role.
Also worth noting: The whole show kind of lives under the spectre of the wildly successful Batman movie and it feels very much like they tried to copy it in a lot of ways.
RETROACTIVE EASTER EGGS
There was no way these were intended to be nods to anything at the time...but after this show ended, we would later see Shipp as Henry Allen/Jay Garrick, Amanda Pays reprising her role as Christina McGee, Alex Desert reprising his role as Julio Mendez (in "Flashpoint") and Vito D'Ambrosio reprising his role as Tony Bellows on The CW's version of The Flash.
As you may have noticed, there's no Jay Garrick on The Flash, but Jay Allen -- Barry's brother, who dies in the pilot -- is named for the Golden Age Flash and still serves as a mentor figure and a (marginally) older inspiration for Barry.
Linda Park, a TV journalist who would later become the love interest (and eventually wife) of Wally West, Barry's successor as The Flash, appears briefly as a reporter in the pilot.
The Flash on The CW would carry on that tradition, with a thirty-something Linda Park appearing briefly on TV around the time of the particle accelerator explosion, only to be retconned later into the younger version played by Malese Jow when they decided that they wanted to make Linda more than just an Easter egg.
S.T.A.R. Labs is well known to DC fans -- and DC TV fans -- as the home of The Flash on The Flash, and as a player in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
But The Flash (1990) was likely the first time many casual fans heard of the research facility, which was created in 1971 but made its first live-action appearance here.