The Flash

CBS (ended 1991)



User Score: 553

out of 10
User Rating
470 votes

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The Flash

Show Summary

The Flash is the story of Barry Allen, a police scientist who is the victim of a freak accident. While working late, his lab is hit by lightning. The blast shatters a number of vials, so Barry is both electrocuted and bathed in dozens of chemicals. When he recovers, Barry finds that he has gained the ability to move at almost impossible speed. Fellow scientist Christina "Tina" McGee works with Barry to help him control his new found powers, even constructing a frictionless suit for him which will not be destroyed by his speed. Donning the red and yellow suit, Barry hides his identity from the world as he uses his powers to fight those who the police cannot catch. In doing so he begins to create the legend of the anonymous scarlet speedster known as The Flash.

John Wesley Shipp

John Wesley Shipp

Barry Allen/The Flash

Amanda Pays

Amanda Pays

Dr. Christina "Tina" McGee

Alex Désert

Alex Désert

Julio Mendez

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  • After a freak accident gives police scientist Barry Allen superspeed, he uses his new power to help fight crime as the costumed hero The Flash.

    This was a good show that could have become a great one if it had been given the chance it deserved. Despite the inexplicable decision to make Central City an almost carbon copy of Batman's dark and quirky Gotham City, John Wesley Shipp did a respectable job of bringing both police scientist Barry Allen and The Flash to life, though allowances had to be made for the somewhat tacky bulky rubber Flash suit they imposed on him. It must have limited his movements quite a bit, but still he managed to work quite well within it. When he wasn't running around as the Scarlet Speedster, Shipp's portrayal of Barry Allen gave the character some much-needed warmth and humanity which seemed to have been missing in the comics.

    Amanda Pays unfortunately always seemed somewhat out of place to me, even though I think she's a great actress. Her character of Tina McGee seemed too one dimensional, really, to get me to care about her all that much.

    Alex Desert as Barry's lab assistant Julio on the other hand worked perfectly, once you got beyond the annoying habit Julio had of always trying to set Barry up with a friend of his current girl-friend of the week... If the series had lasted longer, I think he definitely would have had some possibilities for some very interesting storylines. The bad guys in the show were where I started to have some problems with it. If you're going to use villains like the Mirror Master and Captain Cold, they should have at least tried to make them look like the characters in the comics a little. Mirrormaster was totally unrecognizable, though he was well-played by aging actor and former teen idol David Cassidy (yes, of Keith Partridge fame...). Mark Hammil's Trickster was a little too annoying, though he certainly seemed deranged. Some of the more enjoyable episodes for me were "Ghost in the Machine" in which The Flash teams up with an old mystery man to catch a villian who's come back from cryogenic suspension to pick up where he left off thirty years ago; "Twin Streaks" in which Barry's cloned ... complete with super speed; and "Alpha", an episode in which Barry and Tina try to help an escaped android who's more alive than the government agents trying to capture her.

    I wish this show had lasted longer, but budgetary concerns and scheduling problems teamed up together to make a combination that even the Flash's superspeed couldn't beat and it was canceled after only one season.moreless
  • A mondo series, way before its time, axed before its prime.

    The Flash was one of those series that never got to be in its prime, due to some strange reason. It was axed just after one season, when it just was getting exiting in my view. Maybe that ironically helped the series to become what it is today.. A never-dying classic, something that the people (like me) who has loved the Scarlet Speedster from childhood will always return to.

    Sure, it has some differences from the Comic, but it still is faithful to the character in its essence. The troubled love-relationship to Iris, his enemies (some created for the series, some taken from the comics).

    Tina McGee was also a fascinating character, even if she was mainly created for the series.

    Good series, absolutely a strong 5 on the dice.moreless
  • I wish it lasted a few more seasons.

    The Flash is almost the definition of a cult series. It was never a hit, and canceled after one season due to poor ratings, but during its short run it developed a strong fan base among comics readers who now remember it fondly. It came a year after the first Batman movie and tried to match that film's dark cityscape imagery and cesspool of crime atmosphere, and largely succeeded thanks to well thought out comic-inspired production design work and gloomy lighting. The two principle actors are attractive and likable and for its time and its budget, The Flash was a good looking and well plotted exercise in comics adaptation.moreless
  • It was ok

    I just got this show on dvd and have to say its pretty bland. Its a ok show with a interesting hero. He is The Flash,fastest man alive and out to save Central City. After the death of his brother by a leader of a bike gang, who is the brothers x-partner. Its basically starts out where the city is terrozied by the bike gang. After being struck by lighting and chemicals. Barry Allen has become The Flash. With the help of Tina Mcgee,he now learns to control his power and save the day. The show only lasted one season. I see why after watching a few episodes. It was never too exciting. The plots were goofy. Villians that werent too evil. In the end a very average show.moreless
  • Very nice!

    Though I vaguely remember it when originally broadcast (I was five old years back in 1990), the recent DVD release has allowed me to revisit all 22 episodes of this short-lived series. John Wesley Shipp played Barry Allen, a forensics officer in Central City. One night, he get's zapped by lightning while working at the lab and goes for a flying leap into a rack of chemicals. In the normal world, this would usually result in death or lasting injuries. But this is a comic book world, and these freak accidents leave people with super-powers. In this case, Barry gains the ability to run fast. Really fast. With the assistance of Dr. Tina McGee (Amanda Pays), Barry dons a spiffy, freakishly muscled red suit to fight crime as The Flash. What makes this a mostly successful show is how it didn't take itself all seriously or delve into camp. That said, it did have helpings of both. In episode six, Sins of the Father, Barry has to deal with his father (M. Emmet Walsh)) never really respecting his work because his brother was an actual police officer. On the flip side, you have Mark Hamill's appearance as James Jesse, a serious psycho who dons the persona of The Trickster, a twisted melding of The Joker and The Riddler.

    As stated in other user comments on why the show was canceled, reasons often cited include messing around with it's schedule and the cost of each episode (by television standards, the visual effects were pretty good). Some of the better episodes include Out of Control, in which some highly illegal experiments yield some hilarious results; Captain Cold, which features the titular villain and his plans to put Barry on ice; and Twin Streaks, showing Central City isn't big enough for two fast dudes. The show seemed to be very much inspired by Tim Burton's Batman, with it's production design and visuals. Heck, the opening theme is from Danny Elfman (In one episode, Barry walks past a movie theater showing Batman and Superman). The show also benefited from an amusing supporting cast (especially officers Murphy and Bellows) and a slew of guest stars including Jeffrey Combs, Richard Belzer, Dick Miller, and Anthony Starke ("Jimmy's new in town"). At least fans can appreciate the show on DVD.moreless

    January 10, 2006 DVD Releases

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