Barry Allen provided the chemicals and mother nature provided the spark, but the transformation of an ordinary forensic scientist into the eponymous hero of the CW's upcoming Arrow spin-off The Flash needed a bit of an extra kick in order to get the comic book magic working.
That kick came from S.T.A.R. Labs, specifically from the particle accelerator that was switched on and promptly exploded in the Arrow episode 'Three Ghosts.' That episode will presumably act as a direct precursor to the pilot episode of The Flash, a show that will reportedly feature some more fantastical content compared to Arrow's fairly grounded approach.
Casting announcements for The Flash have been coming in thick and fast, with Danielle Panabaker recently cast as Caitlin Snow, a member of the S.T.A.R. Labs science team whose fiancé was killed in the blast and who - in the comic books, at least - becomes the supervillain known as Killer Frost. Now THR reports that Tom Cavanagh (Ed) has been cast as S.T.A.R. Labs' top dog: a "rock star" physicist called Harrison Wells, who invented and funded the particle accelerator.
After confessing to her involvement in the destruction of the Glades, Moira Queen became a social pariah in Starling City, and it seems that Wells will have a similar character arc. Having been blamed by just about everyone for the deaths caused by the particle accelerator, the physicist sees the appearance of a human who has been given superpowers by the accident as a chance to find redemption.
Cavanagh is a familiar face in television, having played JD's brother Dan Dorian on Scrubs and starred as the lead in NBC's legal comedy Ed. He also played Ranger Smith in that CGI Yogi Bear movie that come out in 2010 and which no one ever talked about ever again. We won't hold that against him, though.
The cast of the Flash pilot seems to be largely fleshed out now, with Jesse L. Martin (Law and Order) and Candice Patton (The Game) set to play Detective West and Iris West, respectively, and Rick Cosnett cast as Eddie Thawne who seems to be a version of Barry's nemesis Eobard Thawne AKA Professor Zoom AKA Reverse-Flash. This is certainly shaping up to be an intriguing first episode of what will hopefully be turned into a full series.
The Flash will premiere on The CW, most likely in fall 2014.