Comic Book.com has shared yet another “Throwback Recaps With John Wesley Shipp” discussion. For this episode they looked at Episode 2 “Out of Control” to read the recap, please head on over to their website.
This time around, we don’t get a ton of relationship stuff and almost no references back to the pilot. I know you had said that they wanted every week to stand on its own — something that we’ve talked with the Constantine showrunner about still being an argument now when writers want to serialize.
It amazes me that that’s still an issue because Lois and Clark came in behind us and they almost had no superhero stuff going on; it was all about the relationship, and they lasted how many seasons? Smallville came in with very little. They were telling the story of the people; they were telling a human story, and that went for ten. So it’s clear that you’ve got to have that in order to keep pulling people in to come back next week, to find out what’s happening to these people that they’re feeling intimate with. It’s not enough to make a good stand-alone hour repetitively.
What do you remember about this episode in particular?
It’s so funny, becuase I’ll put in an episode now and I have no memory of shooting whatever scene I’m shooting.
I did recently see the first one [after the pilot], which is the one with the genetic experimenting on the homeless people, right? The friend of Tina’s?
That was when we had our first DP and we were really going for a CSI show with a superhuman element attached.
Which is interesting, because prior to the announcement of this version of The Flash, for four or five years at least I remember people saying that The Flash lends itself to exactly that.
Right, we were CSI before our time! But we found ourselves up against, for example, they promised me that “We won’t have you saving a kid from a burning building on Page Six of the script. It’s not going to be that kind of a show.”
Well, by the third episode, I was rescuing a kid from a burning building. Now, it was on Page Eleven, not Page Six, but it was right away that the network wantedt o see the suit and we wanted to keep it really sparing.
I had forgotten — I was going through my parents’ house recently in Atlanta and I found some old clippings. One of them said “The Flash lifts CBS in strong debut.” I’d forgotten because by the end it was such a struggle to find our audience, being moved, being pre-empted. But we debuted even in a difficult time slot to strong numbers. Whereas three or four million people now can make a show a hit, we had I think 17 million people tuning in to the last half-hour of our pilot.
But as a result of these things like being pre-empted by baseball immediately, suddenly instead of realizing that the problem was with the scheduling, they began to tinker with the show. It was always more, more, more. They wanted more comic book heroes and some people feel that the show was just hitting its stride by the end. I personally, although I loved working with Mark Hamill, [those episodes] were not indicative of the tone of our whole show. That was broadly comic, over the top, and it was fun to go there but that wasn’t the show I wanted to do every week. I wanted to do a smarter show, a darker show, a more adult-driven show.
We did get into something they said they weren’t going to get into which was supervillain of the week. Guest star David Cassidy, all that. Although I must say, the pilot I thought went really well. The first episode, I thought we obviously had not gelled back into our characters and it wasn’t until “Watching the Detectives” that I felt like I was in the role yet. That happened when I went into Megan Lockheart’s van and suddenly it came alive and I came alive and I suddenly began to go “Okay, we can go forward from here.”
The Barry from the pilot, I didn’t see a whole lot in evidence in this episode. It was almost like we had to start over again from scratch.
To read the full interview head over to ComicBook.com.
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