Feature: How The Flash TV Series Could Be Like Quantum Leap; And Why It Should Be
The dust has settled on the big announcement that not only will The Flash (Barry Allen) be coming to Arrow, but he will be getting his own show on The CW Network as well. Arrow show-runners Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg will be bringing the Scarlet Speedster to the small screen with a pilot directed by David Nutter.
People have not only been asking who will play the famed superhero with super speed, but how will the show follow his life? There have been a few suggestions, from making it similarly to Arrow, all the way to making it as campy as the 1960’s Batman TV Show. I sat down and really thought about it, and came up with a new yet different take on what the show’s format could be: Set the show up similarly to Quantum Leap.
Some readers may not remember Quantum Leap. I remember the show when it was, but showed little interest in it due to my age. However, I recently rediscover the show on Netflix thanks to my wife binge watching episode after episode. The premise of the show is a relatively simple one, Dr. Sam Beckett, played by Scott Bakkula, is working on Project Quantum Leap, an idea that Sam and his team theorize will allow time travel. However, whoever is doing the time traveling can only travel back within their own life time. Threatened with the government defunding his project, Sam steps into the Quantum Leap accelerator disappearing into other people’s bodies. While in their body, Sam must act to correct a catastrophic event in their life so that he can either “leap” into someone else’s body to correct their event or back into his own.
To most people I am sure this premise seems like a stretch for a character like The Flash, but I think it’s a fresh idea for the character. Instead of doing your typical Barry runs around to fight bad guys and save people, why not involve the time travel aspect? In the comics he has the Cosmic Treadmill at his disposal, and uses it to travel to specific points in time. This could allow you introduce villains such as Professor Zoom with there not being hardly any explanation needed.
The actual premise of the show could actually be done very simply. Writers could barrow from the Flashpoint story (which Geoff Johns wrote, and who will be helping out on this new Flash series) by having Barry use the Cosmic Treadmill to go back in time to prevent his mother’s murder. After he prevents it Barry gets on the treadmill to go back to his own time, but when he arrives he notices he isn’t in the right time. When he tries to get on the treadmill to get it going again it won’t budge. Fearing something awful has happened Barry gets in contact with his wife Iris, who will act in this show as Dean Stockwell as Al did for Sam in Quantum Leap, who does diagnostics and tells Barry that him saving his mother has severely altered time, and he needs to go back and fix the time stream. Once he has fixed that particular event, the treadmill will activate allowing him to travel to a different point in time to fix the next problem.
How the rogues could be involved is simply putting them in specific times. Let’s say Barry is transported back into the 50’s where he has to do battle with a criminal who calls himself The Trickster, or he goes forward in to stop a Flash copy cat in Zoom. The possibilities are endless with the way you can integrate the Flash’s baddies into the mix.
Like I said this isn’t your typical superhero show, and I think that would be a good thing. With Warner Brothers sill wanting to cash in on the character by doing a movie, this could be a good way of separating the two by doing different things. On the movie side you could have your standard good guy vs. bad guy movie that will ultimately allow for The Flash to appear in the Justice League movie. On the TV side you get a unique superhero show that looks to break the mold and stand on its own two feet.
Only time will tell what Warner Brothers, DC, and The CW have up their sleeves. As a huge Flash fan, I am looking forward to what the companies will do with him. I guess for now, I will just have to sit back and wait to see what time has in store for The Fastest Man Alive. For all things related to The Flash, make sure to check back here at Comic Book Therapy.