top of page

iReview | THE FLASH: THE ORIGINAL SERIES is Now On Blu-ray

A Blu-ray Release


For the first time, THE FLASH: THE ORIGINAL SERIES that set the pace for future DC shows can now be experienced in high-definition, cinematically expanded in a new Blu-ray presentation from the Warner Archives Collection.


BOX ART

There are only a handful of television series that are credited with creating cultural touchstones that reshaped or impacted the media for generations to come. Star Trek for example altered the way audiences viewed science fiction, especially through its lens of delivering morality plays every week that examined the currents of our society. M.A.S.H. put a dramatically different face on the military following army doctors on tour during the Korean War. Though it wasn’t the first of its kind in 1990, CBS attempted to catch lightning in a bottle with a genre that was picking up speed.


In 1989 Tim Burton’s Batman starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson was a box office behemoth and presented its titular caped crusader for an audience hungry (again) for cinematic superheroes. Highly stylized and much in the spirit of Burton’s own established vision, the filmmaker drew parallels from the contemporary graphic novels and the character's comic book origins to breathe life into the darkly shaded persona of billionaire Bruce Wayne (Keaton) who was determined to exact justice upon the criminal element of his Gotham City.


The success of Batman ignited the studios’ interest in combing and adapting similar superhero franchises, across all mediums. Warner Bros. which owned the intellectual properties for all the DC Comics pantheon of which Batman belonged, were already looking for the next superhero to bring to life. While The Batman was constructed for the cinema, writer/producers Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo were busily crafting another hero that would run the scrimmages of prime time. The pair had already pitched an original premise entitled Unlimited Powers, before moving into the fast lane.


Add THE FLASH to your Blu-ray collection.
Add THE FLASH to your Blu-ray collection.

The Silver Age of Comics was heralded by the arrival of a fast-moving Scarlet Speedster. It made clear sense The Flash: The Original Series would capitalize on the momentum from Burton’s Batman foregoing all the Zip! Bang! Ka-Pow! for a crime caper super-powered adventure of the week that moved at high velocity. Starring two-time Emmy Award Winner John Wesley Shipp in the role of CSI investigator Barry Allen, who is struck by lightning after a freak accident investigating a case in his crime lab, is doused in chemicals that turn him into The Flash, Central City’s protector.


Allen is aided in his heroic journey by S.T.A.R. Labs scientist Dr. Tina McGee played by Amanda Pays and Julio Mendez, portrayed by Alex Désert who also works the crime scenes alongside our hero in his secret identity. In the first season of the series, which was the most expensive series of its kind in production at Warner Bros. in the 1990s, Bilson and De Meo had The Flash fight underworld agents and crooks, before introducing many of the colorful costumed characters that make up his rogue’s gallery. Mark Hamill would famously portray arch nemesis The Trickster.


The series was lauded by critics as groundbreaking and ahead of its time, celebrated for its hardworking cast, and production value that exceeded expectations, especially for its phenomenal special effects. The Flash: The Original Series was constantly plagued with scheduling changes in primetime, and its ballooning budget made it even more challenging to keep pace with the competition. Ultimately, after only 22 episodes, the series would be canceled, but diehard fans were determined to turn it into a classic.


Run Barry Run!


That a series like The Flash burned out after only one season on CBS, at the time, may have appeared calamitous, but for fans of the genre, it was a validation that stories could be told with dramatic gravitas. Gone were the days of the high camp that had often been associated with previous superhero series. The Flash inspired a new generation of television shows that were determined to elevate the character dynamics, as well as deliver on shock and awe as special EFX improved and became more manageable. Smallville premiered re-imagining the origins of the Man of Steel; inevitably it would open the lens on an entire primetime extended universe beginning with Arrow.


When the time had finally arrived to revisit The Flash, the star of The Original Series couldn’t have been more surprised when the creatives behind the reboot starring Grant Gustin invited him to join the cast. Shipp would portray Henry Allen, the father of Grant Gustin’s CSI Barry Allen, ceremoniously passing the torch. Throughout the new show which lasted nine seasons, Shipp would play key roles beyond establishing Henry. He and several members of the 1990 series also reprised their roles existing inside of this new alternate history, and Shipp would eventually suit up as Barry Allen again bringing his version of the classic full circle.


The Flash: The Original Series has remained a touchstone in the legacy of DC television series, and continued to inspire fans. Now for the first time in its nearly 35 years since debuting on the air, the series will be re-released from the Warner Archives for the first time in full HD on Blu-ray. All 22 episodes from the original run have been up-rezzed using 4K scans of the original production film negatives to bring them into the 21st Century. The episodes now appear richer in depth and color, with far more detail enhancing many of the practical effects, and giving the show a more cinematic look that allows it to live side-by-side in a world inhabited by Burton’s Dark Knight Detective.


This is The Flash many fans have been eagerly awaiting, and now The Original is moving into the fast lane, entering into celebrating its 35th Anniversary, just as its reboot will soon commemorate its first decade. The Flash Lives!


Get your #FanzEyeView of the unboxing of the Blu-ray by Tim Millard host of THE EXTRAS Podcast here:



DC’S THE FLASH: THE ORIGINAL SERIES | starring John Wesley Shipp, Amanda Pays, and Alex Désert | is available for the first time on Blu-ray and presented in high definition. It is available for purchase on Amazon in a 6-disc set featuring all 22 episodes of this classic series.


BOX ART

<<Spoiler Alert!>> The HQ.Remixed may be going away, but you can continue to get your dose of entertainment and pop-culture coverage at the central HQ, the OG ThrillseekerHQ site here. Also, visit our sister site TheFanzite.com (available on Apple News).

Comments


bottom of page