The Flash: Nineties and Now

Hello Readers! Today on this The Flash blog I will be discussing the characters in both the 2014 CW’s The Flash, starring Grant Gustin in the titular role, and the 1990-1991 Warner Bros. series of the same title, starring John Wesley Shipp as The Flash. Due to the situations and characters that will be examined in this post, there will be spoilers for moments throughout the series. Read at your own discretion.

It is clear that the current version of The Flash was made with great respect to the original series. Perhaps one of the most obvious testaments of this is the gag reel on the season 2 DVD set. The intro to the gag reel is set up like the original intro to the 1990’s series.

The next biggest nod to the original is John Wesley Shipp’s role in the current series.

Initially cast as Barry Allen‘s father, Shipp has since played other roles in the series and is currently portraying Jay Garrick, the Earth 3 version of The Flash. In each of his roles, Shipp has portrayed a parental figure, often offering guidance or support, which is highly symbolical regarding the nature of the show.

Another very exciting aspect of Shipp’s portrayal of the Earth 3 Flash is the villain he was pitted against in the season 3 episode “The Present.”

Mark Hamill had reprised his role from the 1990 series as James Jesse, AKA, The Trickster on the 2014 series in two episodes prior to this one, which was already a very big nod to the original series.

What made the scene below so iconic however was that John Wesley Shipp playing at least a version of The Flash faced off against Mark Hamill’s Trickster. It was a moment straight out of the 1990 series, bringing nostalgia and tribute to the iconic series, and it was fantastic.

The blatant character nods don’t stop there though, as Shipp’s costar from the original series, Amanda Pays, also reprised her role as Doctor Christina McGee. Also having served guest spots on the current show a few times, perhaps one of Pays’s most iconic moments in the 2014 series came in the season two penultimate episode “Invincible” when Tina McGee met Henry Allen.

In the 1990 series Tina served the role that Caitlin, Cisco, and Wells serve for Barry in the current series, so this was also a very iconic testament to the original series.

Also, the third main cast member in the 1990’s series, Alex Désert‘s Julio Mendez, made an appearance in the season 3 premiere of the current series as Captain Mendez of the Central City Police Department in the reality created by the Flashpoint paradox. He also recently guest starred as a different version of the character of the same name in the scene below.

Even though this scene may seem to have kiboshed any hope of getting the original three back together, I haven’t completely given up hope that we’ll see Captain Mendez, Jay Garrick, and Dr. Tina McGee work together.

Yet another example is Vito D’Ambrosio‘s character Tony Bellows, an officer in the original series, is mayor of Central City in the 2014 series. He has appeared in two episodes to date.

All in all, there are so many amazing alumni and cast members on both shows that I cannot wait to see how they will continue to develop the characters throughout the series. I hope you enjoyed this post and know there will be more The Flash posts to come.

Love this post? Hate it? Think I missed something? Let me know on Twitter!

Follow me on Twitter: @mercuryj_b

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