The Flash “Watching The Detectives” Recap with John Wesley Shipp

Shares has shared yet another “Throwback Recaps” of the 1990 CBS Series The Flash with John Wesley Shipp (Barry Allen/The Flash). This time Episode 3 “Watching the Detectives”, click the link for the full recap and interview.

The one guy we haven’t seen in the new Flash who played a big role in your show, especially in helping to shape how we perceived Barry in these early episodes, is Alex Desert. What did he bring to the table, in your view? 


I think that we had a great chemistry. I like what he did; he grounded me. If they were going to make Barry, as they were, sort of excitable and driven by a lot of passion, Julio  served as the guy to cool him out.

If Barry was having all the romantic problems and stumbling over himself, Julio was the one who offset that. When i did [“Shroud of Death”], this is jumping ahead, but Julio was the one who tried to defuse the conflict between Garfield and Barry.

But there again, the problem was, he floated in and out. It was the same dynamic that we talked about with Tina. One episode we’d flirt, the next episode we wouldn’t. Is it a romantic interest, or isn’t it? She gets jealous when I’m with Megan, but that has not been laid in carefully.

So Julio would come in, but it wasn’t decided…the contemporary equivalent of Julio, obviously, is Cisco, but they decided who Cisco is. They decided from Day One who Cisco is, and they have written him consistently.

In fact, they’ve done that with all of the actors. They get this. Maybe it’s because Greg Berlanti comes from series television as well as being a comic book guy. Geoff Johns certainly understand the importance of telling story. But they got from Day One that they had to know who these people were and keep them consistent, becuase it’s the characters. It’s not the suit, it’s not the special effects. That’s the gravy; that’s the icing on the cake, but first you have to bake the cake, and the cake is the characters and the relationships. That’s what’s going to keep the audience.

This isn’t my opinion; look at the history of it. The shows that have been successful always understood that.

I think sometimes, fans are reluctant to embrace that because they want more action but the appeal of these stories that go on for seventy-five years without stopping…there has to be an element of soap opera.  


Yeah! It’s serialized drama. What makes the way The Flash deals with a situation different from the way Superman would deal with it? What makes Batman different from the way Superman would? Who are these people behind the masks? And what makes the decisions that  they make as superheroes, what differentiates one from the other? I would think that would makesome people Flash fans, some people Superman fans, some people Batman fans.

We talked a little bit about the darkness of the show — and these early episodes, we get a version of Central City that is very Gotham-inspired. The pilot starts with a city essentially under martial law. Do you remember what you thought when you were reading some of those scripts? 


April Webster was exactly right when she said on the phone, “John, just read it.” And that did it for me. I loved the tone of the opening. I loved the actor, the lady in the pilot who was like “Get inside!” She’s terrific, she did that just right. I loved all that stuff. My concerns were laid to rest very early on in reading.

By this episode, we almost forget that aspect of the pilot. Gotham never really gets better, and Metropolis never really gets worse — but Barry clearly had a massive impact on the city in these three months. It’s an interesting way to differentiate him from that. 


Yeah, yeah. That’s a wonderful observation, and I’m glad we were able to get that across.

Eric Curto
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