Flash Fact: Fans were thrilled when producers of The CW series The Flash tapped both John Wesley Shipp and Amanda Pays, stars of the original Flash that ran on CBS back in the early ’90s, to take part in the new series.
Shipp played Barry’s doomed dad Henry before writers cast him as Jay Garrick, the Flash of an alternate world. Meanwhile, Pays plays Dr. Tina McGee, a version of her original series character.
“I didn’t have any time to go on appearances when we were shooting the original series,” recalls Shipp, speaking to Soap Hub at Super Megafest Comic Con in Marlborough, MA.
“We’d shoot past dawn on Saturdays and then be back on Monday. I’d get bags of fan mail, but now, there’s much more communication between the audience through social media.”
Pays says she and Shipp don’t see each other often, but when they do “we feel immediately connected. That’s always going to be there.”
The Lost Scene
In season two, a scene between Henry and Amanda setting up a possible romance was, alas, cut for space. “I didn’t know the scene didn’t make it on-screen until I watched the episode,” says Pays. Unfortunately, it hasn’t shown up either online or as a DVD extra. “The scene was shot beautifully,” recalls Shipp.
A Race To The Writers Table
Time will tell if The Flash producers invite Shipp and Pays back for more episodes. (Perhaps the current Flash can visit a dimension where Shipp’s Flash is living today, happily with Tina?) In addition to playing Jay, Shipp brings to the table insights into the core dynamics of the program’s characters.
Case in point: Shipp notes that it had to have stung Henry that his son didn’t follow in his footsteps by going into medicine.
Instead, he became a police scientist, in part, because his surrogate dad, Joe, is a detective. “What if Jay had mentored Joe’s son Wally [the speedster known as Kid Flash] in a way that Joe wasn’t able to?” suggests Shipp. “The tables would be turned. Is that not a brilliant idea?”
Pays is developing a follow-up to her first successful book, Open House, which she wrote with husband Corbin Bernsen (Psych; The Young and the Restless). “We’re in the agreement phase with the publisher,” she says.
Meanwhile, Shipp, a two-time Emmy-winner, who has fan followings from not only The Flash and soap operas (Guiding Light, As the World Turns), is also known for his run as Mitch Leery on Dawson’s Creek.
“What surprised me is when I did a convention in Dublin [media outlets there] wanted to talk about Dawson’s before The Flash,” shares the actor.
“Daytime audiences and comic audiences are similar,” concludes Shipp. “They know legacy and history, they love the characters. They view themselves as guardians of the Speed Force.”
The Flash airs Tuesdays on The CW at 8 p.m. ET/PT.