With the CW fast-tracking a “Flash” TV series from “Arrow” co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, we thought it’d only be right to revisit the Scarlet Speedster’s first live-action incarnation on the small-screen: 1990’s “The Flash.”
That series saw John Wesley Shipp in the role of Barry Allen and was–for its time and the limitations of broadcast TV–not a bad introduction to the character. Let’s take a look back at some of the cast members from the show.
John Wesley Shipp (Barry Allen/The Flash)
Shipp got his start in soap operas, first with roles in “Guiding Light” before winning a Daytime Emmy for “As the World Turns.” The Norfolk, VA native turned crime lab scientist Barry Allen into a square-jawed, steely-eyed hunk for the series.
Shipp tried his hand a second time at the comics-to-TV game with a part in the early ’90s adaptation of “Human Target” with a one-episode appearance, before spending the next 20 years in a series of dramatic roles, a few episodes on “Teen Wolf,” and even returning to daytime drama with a long-running role in “One Life to Live.” But he didn’t leave “The Flash” behind entirely, lending his voice to “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” as the Flash’s nemesis, Professor Zoom.
Amanda Pays (Christina McGee)
American audiences probably first became familiar with the English actress from her time on the short-lived “Max Headroom,” but for horror fans, she made an impression in the undersea creature feature “Leviathan” (hey, remember that couple of years where we got “Deep Six,” “Leviathan,” and “The Abyss?”).
Pays played S.T.A.R. Labs scientist Christina McGee, who took a little bit of the brain load off of Barry Allen, providing helpful explanations about his powers as well as the occasional gadget to fight one of his costumed enemies.
The actress has had many smaller film and TV roles over the years, with guest appearances on “7th Heaven” and “The X-Files,” but since 2008, she’s been pretty quiet.
Tim Thomerson (Jay Allen)
Tim Thomerson, however, stays busy.
Even though he only had a one-episode part in the series as Barry’s created-for-TV brother “Jay” (killed tragically in the pilot by the city’s criminal element), it’s hard not to put a spotlight on the veteran B-movie star.
Viewers of a certain age will remember Thomerson from his collaborations with filmmaker Charles Band, who enjoyed putting the actor in trench coats, giving him a gun, and pointing him at monsters to kill. Thomerson worked with Band on the time-hopping “Trancers” films as Jack Deth, along with playing the diminutive hero of “Dollman” and its franchise mashup followup, “Dollman vs. Demonic Toys” (seriously, it was a great time for odd-concept indie horror and sci-fi).
He’s, of course, been a regular face in the world of guest appearances, with episodes of “Sliders” and “Lois & Clark” joining feature roles and even a voice performance in the open world action game “Saints Row the Third.”
Mark Hammill (Jesse James/The Trickter)
There weren’t a lot of prominent roles for Mr. Hamill follwing “Return of the Jedi” in 1983. Besides some TV work and a role in the little-seen post-apocalyptic thriller “Slipstream,” Hammill’s acting career wasn’t getting the boost that co-star Harrison Ford had with his role as Han Solo.
It wasn’t until 1991, when Hammill played The Trickster in a handful of “The Flash” episodes, that many of us got to see the actor front and center again. We can almost look at the manic maniac as a test run for his role as the Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series” and subsequent animated/game appearances over the years. His Trickster may not have had the psychotic edge of Mr. J, but Hammill threw himself into the part with abandon (and gave us a first listen to some of his later vocal fury).
In later years, Hammill would take on more voice work with short-lived series like “Biker Mice From Mars” and “Phantom 2040″ littering his resume alongside classic games like “Full Throttle.” And, of course, rumor has it he (along with Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford) is set to return to the “Star Wars” universe with “Episode VII” in 2015.