For two seasons now, The Flash has played fast and loose with time travel and choosing which storylines and characters to use from the comics, keeping fans guessing as to where the popular superhero show will go next. The CW series, which ultimately didn’t start off as a backdoor pilot on Arrow, has become a fully fledged spinoff over the years with its own unique mythology and tone. Yet while the writers have definitely kept a lot of details from the source material, there have also been quite a few changes along the way.
One of these big changes this past season was the identity of the first speedster, Jay Garrick. In season 2, the series expanded beyond its original premise, bringing in a few new speedsters as well as an infinite number of alternate Earths. Jay (played by Teddy Sears) was introduced as a fellow speedster in the premiere, but we later learned he was actually the villainous Hunter Zolomon, aka Zoom. The real Jay from Earth-3 was instead being kept prisoner by Zoom, and in the season finale the man in the iron mask was revealed to be the doppelganger of Barry Allen’s father (played by John Wesley Shipp).
However, new information from former The Flash star Rick Cosnett reveals this wasn’t always the plan. At today’s Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in San Jose, Cosnett explained that when he signed his contract to be on the series, the character name of Jay Garrick was on the deal. Obviously, the writers later changed their minds, but it’s unclear if that happened before they decided to nix the backdoor pilot or after production on the series already began. Though it’s unlikely the character of Eddie Thawne would have evolved into Jay Garrick, judging by his connection to villain Eobard Thawne.
It’s more likely that after introducing Barry in Arrow and scrapping the backdoor pilot, all the characters on the upcoming series were changed. For instance, the original backdoor pilot script featured Harley Rathaway (Pied Piper) as a member of Team Flash. And Caitlin Snow’s dead fiancé was actually Kyle Nimbus (The Mist) instead of Ronnie Raymond. He was supposed to be the villain of the pilot, while Caitlin was older and could potentially have been a love interest of Harrison Wells, aka Eobard Thawne.
While season 2 of The Flash may have had some problems compared to the previous seasons, it’s hard to think about what the show would have been with all of these changes. We still don’t know how Jay would have been introduced in the backdoor pilot, but there would have been a different team dynamic between Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin if Harley was included into the mix and Caitlin wasn’t their peer. Overall, the series has become a big hit for the network, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday October 4th at 8pm on The CW, Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same timeslot on Wednesday October 5th, Supergirl season 2 on Monday October 10th, and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 on Thursday October 13th.