Fun fact: there was actually a Flash TV show before the one we know and love today. In the 90’s, John Wesley Shipp portrayed the Scarlet Speedster, and fans of the original were thrilled when Shipp was cast on the CW’s The Flash as Henry Allen, Barry’s father, whose innocence Barry spent all of season one trying to prove by finding his mother’s true murderer. While Henry Allen died at the end of season two, Shipp remained part of the show and went on to play Earth 3’s Flash – Jay Garrick.
Garrick, who will be a key part of the show from this point forward, has been the Flash for much longer than Barry has, and obviously the fact that Jay is the Earth 3 doppelgänger of Henry will be tough to deal with for Barry. Check out what Shipp had to say about this:
“Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen is the speedster of the show, so everything is discussed in terms of how it affects Grant’s Barry. When the iron mask comes off, and he sees essentially his dad, that’s kind of like a one-two punch because it’s his dad but it’s not. If the iron mask comes off and it was Henry by another name, what would be the interest in that? In conjunction with Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, we wanted to make Jay very different from Henry.”
Shipp went on to describe how the way he played Barry Allen in the 90’s show influenced his portrayal of Jay Garrick now.
“I figured Jay is my version of Barry, 25 years later, essentially. So I went back and I watched a couple of episodes of the 1990/91 version to kind of remind myself what I did. Jay is much more reminiscent of my Barry Allen from 25 years ago than my Henry Allen. I went back and I was amazed how much attitude my Barry Allen had in some situations. I went back and I picked up that thread and I brought it forward 25 years, and tried to weave it in. I think that’s fun for the audience, too — that they will see elements of my Barry Allen in my Jay Garrick.”
It sure will be great to see these two iconic speedsters on the screen together, but Shipp revealed that to Gustin, he is actually the first Flash he knew.
“When Grant and I were running lines and I was being Jay, he just put his head down and started laughing. I said ‘What’s up?’ and he said ‘It is so cool watching you play this.'”
The Flash returns tonight and will be completely different than ever before, as it will kick off the hugely popular “Flashpoint” storyline which sees Barry waking up in an alternate reality created by himself. Will you be watching? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram!