John Wesley Shipp‘s Jay Garrick, the Flash of another world, returns to The Flash with tonight’s episode, “Enter Flashtime,” which promises to be a speedster-filled story in which the fast heroes assemble to stop a detonated nuclear device.
Longtime Flash fans have a special connection to Jay beyond the current series as he was the “O.G. Flash,” Barry Allen, on the original Flash TV series which ran from 1990-1991.
In anticipation of the March 6 installment which airs at 8PM ET/PT on The CW, we spoke with Mr. Shipp about “Enter Flashtime,” Jay, and of course, topics about the Flash legacy. Enjoy!
CRAIG BYRNE FROM FLASHTVNEWS: What can you tell us about “Enter Flashtime?”
JOHN WESLEY SHIPP: There’s a nuclear device that’s gone off, and we have split seconds to try to figure out a way to keep it from destroying everything. It pulls in all the speedsters – it pulls in Jay’s scientific knowledge, it pulls in Jesse, it pulls in others who are not necessarily speedsters…. we all get together to try to figure it out – as long as we can keep running, which is not limitless. Speedsters have to stop. If we stop, it’s Game Over. While we’re moving in Flashtime, and everyone else is nearly frozen, the rest of the world is moving almost imperceptively, and we’ve got to figure out a solution to this problem, because if we stop and it reverts to real time, it’s over.
When filming the 1990 Flash series, did you ever think that technology would ever be far enough to do an episode like “Enter Flashtime?”
I never thought that I would ever be in another Flash suit, let’s start there!
At the filming of the last episode with Mark Hamill at 5am in Southeast Los Angeles, I ripped the wings off of the suit, threw ’em in the air, and swore I’d never get into another Flash suit! And lo and behold, here I am! I remember Carla Princi, I owe her an apology… she was publicity at Warner Bros. and at one point, she was being so affirming, and she said “this is a role you were born to play!” And I shot back. I said “Oh, God, I hope not!” Simply because I was a young actor at the onset of my career, and there were so many more roles that I wanted to play.
Now I need to say “Carla, it appears that you may have been more right than I knew at the time.”
It’s pretty bizarre to be back in this whole universe, but I love the concept. Isn’t it brilliant? Just the idea and the concept of the [“Enter Flashtime”] episode.
Is Jay Garrick’s costume more comfortable to wear than the old one?
It’s night and day. I’m sitting in my Jay Garrick suit, and they come up and they say “do you need some water” or “would you like to get out of that?” I’m like “no, this is Christmas! Are you kidding me?” The old suit was so difficult to work in. I give the creators props: It was a work of art, and $100,000 to build four suits in 1990. They were really wonderful, but it was very difficult to work on. It was very hot and you had to glue it to my face, and a lot of things that don’t have to happen now. There’s an undersuit now and an outer shell, so you can peel the leather shell off and they can wash the undersuit, which is much more pleasant for everyone on the set.
Last week gave us the sad news that original 1990 Flash Executive Producer Paul DeMeo had passed away. Can you talk about him and his role in your Flash experience?
I was shocked — it really took my breath away. It really was a sucker punch. I was going down to the subway in New York, and I saw that Danny Bilson had put something up, and I sat down, and I was like “you’re kidding?!?!” I contacted Danny, and I said to him “I can only imagine what you’re feeling,” because for me, it’s like a significant part of my creative, professional life just left the planet, because Paul, of course, and Danny… 28 years ago, they changed my life. I wouldn’t be here talking to you today — not about this — if it hadn’t been a creative decision that they and Warner Bros. and CBS made 28 years ago, for me to play what they call the O.G. Flash.
You were just talking about “The Trial of the Trickster.” Wasn’t that Bilson and DeMeo in the final shot with the sign?
Yes! It was them, and then I go streaking by in a red flash.
Danny put that up on his page, and I put it up on my Twitter page, too. It was a great shot.
There’s much more to this interview. You can read Part 2 here!
The Flash: Speaking With Tom Cavanagh Before Tonight’s Finale
Tom Cavanagh discusses his return as the Reverse Flash in the series finale of the Flash airing March 24
Tom Cavanagh was a part of The Flash from the start, first playing Harrison Wells-but-actually-the Reverse Flash, and then giving us a myriad of Wells throughout the multiverse. He’s also proven himself to be a fantastic director, helming multiple episodes of The Flash as well as fellow CW superhero staple Superman & Lois. Tonight, he’s back in front of the camera, playing Barry’s arch enemy once again.
FlashTVNews spoke with Tom Cavanagh in the days leading to tonight’s finale, and here are some highlights of that conversation:
How did it feel to be back? “I think the emotions are probably very different for somebody like myself or Carlos Valdes who decided to leave after Season 6; myself with the knowledge that [I have] this parachute of the fact that I play the Reverse Flash and he’s gonna come in every four or five months and blow up Central City and try and kill the Flash. It was a tremendous situation for me, because that’s exactly how it played out. I got to come back, and see my friends, and put on the suit, and enjoy that. It was just a grand circumstance anytime out to see the crew and the cast and put on that suit.”
On the importance of bringing the Reverse Flash back for the series finale: “It was understood that when we got to the series finale, that we have to include the Joker to the Batman; or in this case, Reverse Flash to The Flash.”
Would he like to play Reverse Flash again? “Reverse Flash, for me, was just a joy to play, as an antagonist or arch-enemy. There’s charisma to that character, and I delighted in. I would suit up again in a heartbeat.”
Cavanagh has pitch for a return on a possible Reverse Flash spinoff project. “Here’s my pitch: What if Reverse Flash, with all his villainy, fell for a civilian and then suddenly that complicated his agenda? Where would he go with his paramour, and how would it affect him? Would he then be able to carry through on his designs of destroying Barry? The reason we didn’t do that on The Flash was because you’d need to call that show Reverse Flash. We’ve got The Flash, which I wholeheartedly support. That being said, I think there’s room in the multiverse now that The Flash is over for us to explore that. And so, that’s my pitch for a Reverse Flash spinoff.”
Is Eobard afraid of any of the other speedsters? “Heck no, and that will be readily apparent in the finale.”
Was it fun to play Eobard insulting Eddie and Hunter Zolomon in the finale? “Poor Teddy Sears. Poor Rick Cosnett. Grand humans, all. And then, they roll on camera and it’s just, like, me taking shots. Teddy would quote them back to me a month later and I’d ask ‘who said that?’ ‘You said it!’ It’s so fast and furious, that I can’t keep track sometimes. I have to say, there’s one descriptor for those guys: It’s ‘tolerant’.”
Any final words for the fans who have followed the series for nine years? “I think it’s great that you bring that up, because often times, when a show has run a long time, a lot of the concentration is on the people who are the face of the show on camera, but off camera is the audience. They are the reason we were even given these nine years. It’s never lost on me. I remember [Superman & Lois and former Flash showrunner] Todd Helbing saying this: ‘These people invite us into their homes for an hour a week, and it is such a privilege and a responsibility. We want to let them know that we don’t take it lightly.’ That would be the message that I would like to basically parrot. Certainly, we’re grateful for the audience showing up week after week, which gave us those nine years. And even though I’m sure we didn’t always succeed story wise, it’s important for us to let the audience know that it was not from lack of trying. We understood that they were the reason we were there, and we were always doing our best to try to tell stories that they would enjoy, and keep coming back.”
The Flash series finale airs tonight on The CW.
Flashback: Revisiting Our Earliest Flash Cast Interviews
FlashTVNews revisits our earliest interviews with the cast of The Flash.
The final episode of The Flash airs tonight (May 24) at 8PM ET/PT on The CW… and we’re feeling pretty retrospective right now. Sure, we have a new interview with Tom Cavanagh that will be posted this afternoon, but beyond that, we’re thinking about the long run that got us here.
FlashTVNews had the opportunity over the years to interview almost every series regular in the show’s 9-season run, at one time or another. Whether it was at a Comic-Con, a carpet for a crossover, or the very first Flash appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour… we were there. Below you can find some of those interviews, starting from the TCA Press Tour and moving down the list. Sadly, we never did get to do video with such folks as Brandon McKnight, Jon Cor, or Kayla Compton… but if you want to see how the cast was talking about the show in the early days, this may be a treat for you. And again, the series finale “A New World, Part Four” airs tonight at 8PM ET/PT.
Candice Patton (Iris West):
Jesse L. Martin (Joe West):
Tom Cavanagh (Eobard Thawne/Various Wells):
Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon):
Rick Cosnett (Eddie Thawne):
Grant Gustin (Barry Allen… the fastest man alive!):
Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow):
John Wesley Shipp (Daddy Flash):
Teddy Sears (Zoom/Jay Garrick/Hunter Zolomon):
Jessica Parker Kennedy (Nora West-Allen):
Keiynan Lonsdale (Wally West):
Danielle Nicolet (
The Seal Cecile Horton/Virtue):
Michelle Harrison (Nora WHY DID I SAY THAT NAME):
Patrick Sabongui (Captain Singh):
The Flash: Eric Wallace Would Be Open To Continuing The Story
Flash Showrunner Eric Wallace discusses the possibility of Flash audio adventures after the series is done.
Could there be a continuation of The Flash after Wednesday’s final episode? It’s possible.
Before he landed on The Flash, Showrunner Eric Wallace had been involved with Big Finish Productions’ audio continuations of the classic gothic TV soap Dark Shadows, having written or co-written three stories for the studio. Stories like the ones told by Big Finish can keep a franchise alive – they were the leading source of new Doctor Who stories during the “wilderness years” between the 1996 Paul McGann TV movie and Christopher Eccleston’s debut in 2005’s “Rose.”
When we spoke with Eric Wallace prior to the launch of The Flash Season 9 earlier this year (well before the current writers’ strike), we asked him if he’d have any interest in writing Flash audio adventures one day, and in addition, which character from Dark Shadows lore he would “borrow” to meet Team Flash if he ever could, a very nerdy question that might only be understood by a fraction of the audience reading this website.
“Yes, I would love to,” he confirmed. “Not immediately.. give me a year off, I need a break… but I would love to write a Flash audio adventure at some point in the future, to tell the stories that I wasn’t able to tell during this particular moment.”
As for the second part of the question, asked only for fun? “I already know what the answer is, but I’m gonna qualify it: I would want to bring over Barnabas Collins, but I think the more appropriate character to come on to this show is Quentin, because Quentin is a man out of time, much moreso than Barnabas is. Barnabas was locked in a coffin and then woke up after 200 years and is dealing with past baggage, so obviously, he would have a lot to talk about with Barry Allen. But Quentin is a man of the past who was thrust into modern times, and actually starts to adjust, but a curse follows him, so he can’t ever have a future, so seems to me that there’s a definite story between Quentin and Iris, right there.”
And that’s not all: “Having said that, Julia [Dr. Julia Hoffman] and Reverend Trask are my next two favorites. I have to sneak them in too somehow,” he said, making us wonder why we never managed to get the actors David Selby or Jerry Lacy on The Flash TV show as Max Mercury or a character in that vein.
In the months since this interview was conducted, Grant Gustin has also addressed his Flash future beyond May 24:
“I think regardless of if I put the suit on again or not – and I love this – I’ll be associated with this character for the rest of my life, so if anybody wants to call me about The Flash, I will take the phone call and hear them out,” Grant said in a recent interview with EW.
Maybe this means May 24 won’t be the end after all…