PaleyFest 2014 Fall TV Previews: ‘The Flash’ Panel Recap

The Flash - Poster

The Flash Promotional Poster

On Saturday, September 6, The Paley Center for Media held its Fall TV Previews Panel for The CW’s The Flash. Cast members Candice Patton and Jesse L. Martin and executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg shared the stage with the cast and creators of The CW’s Jane The Virgin in a spoilery panel moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Senior Writer, Natalie Adams. Unfortunately, Grant Gustin, who plays Barry Allen/The Flash, wasn’t able to attend the panel due to illness.

While there weren’t too many mind-blowing details revealed about The Flash‘s upcoming first season, the panelists were not afraid to spoil a few moments from the pilot. Considering the pilot has been screened at several locations prior and even leaked online, most of these details were revealed on various news sites and social media beforehand. During the panel, Berlanti and Kriesberg confirmed Easter Eggs featuring the DC villain Gorilla Grodd and a nod to Wayne Enterprises. As for plot spoilers, it was mentioned that Tom Cavanagh’s character Harrison Wells will have a glimpse into the future in the form of a newspaper dated 2024.

Jesse L. Martin, who plays Barry Allen’s surrogate father Detective Joe West on The Flash, refused to hear any of the spoilers blurted out during the panel as he humorously cupped his hands over his ears. Martin went on to state he hasn’t researched The Flash comics and doesn’t know much beyond the fact that the titular character runs fast. His justification for this was basically that the world his character lives in is a surprise to his character and thus should be a surprise to himself as well. Meanwhile, Candice Patton stated she read several Flash comics in preparation for her role as Iris West. Patton also mentioned that Iris will meet Arrow‘s Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) in an upcoming episode and will actually encourage Barry to date Felicity.

Some classic DC Comics story-arcs Greg Berlanti states they drew inspiration from were 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths written by Marv Wolfman, and 2009’s The Flash: Rebirth written by Geoff Johns. Berlanti hints at bringing in the DC hero Wally West eventually, and intends to make him African American as he is related to Iris and Joe West. In the comics, Wally West was known as Kid Flash before taking up the mantle of The Flash following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Since the character’s incarnation, Wally West has been portrayed as Caucasian, but has been recently reintroduced in DC’s New 52 line of comics as African American.

When asked by moderator, Natalie Adams, if Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, played by Wentworth Miller, would be considered this season’s “big bad”, Andrew Kreisberg confirmed that he won’t, but there will a “definitive big bad” revealed as the season progresses.

Overall, the panel was very informational and entertaining. While it was clear the majority of the crowd at The Paley Center were more excited for The Flash rather than Jane The Virgin, Jane The Virgin also seems like it could be interesting as well. Also, while both shows featured in this panel are very different, they each share a common bond in the fact that they have very diverse casts. This was a theme also discussed during the panel. While the panel originally aired online as a live-stream, the full video footage can be seen on Head on over there to check it out and feel free to let us know your thoughts on the panel in the comments.

The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 7 at 8/7c on The CW.

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Photography by Kevin Parry for The Paley Center for Media.