The Flash

Watch The Flash

  • TV-PG
  • 1990
  • 7 Seasons
  • 7.1  (8,128)

The Flash, which aired on CBS from 1990 to 1991, was a sci-fi superhero series based on the DC comics character Barry Allen, also known as Flash. This television series played a significant role in bringing the beloved comic-book superhero to life on the small screen, casting a progressively expanding spotlight on the DC Universe.

The series revolved around Barry Allen, portrayed by John Wesley Shipp, a crime scene investigator with the Central City Police Department. Allen is imbued with superhuman speed and reflexes after an accident involving a bolt of lightning that strikes a rack of chemicals in his lab. Harnessing his new abilities, he becomes The Flash, the fastest man alive, dedicated to protecting Central City from a varied range of criminals and metahuman threats.

Besides his super-speed, Barry has the ability to vibrate his molecules so rapidly he can pass through walls and is immune to most types of physical harm. His other superhuman abilities often take a backseat to the show's primary focus on speed. Many of the series' most memorable sequences involve him running faster than the human eye can see, whether it's to catch bullets in mid-air or save people from impending disasters.

The Flash was designed to fit into the popular visual style of superhero media of the early '90s, which often meant plenty of darkness, both literal and metaphorical. The costume for The Flash was deliberately created to be darker than the original comic book costume. It followed the aesthetic trend of many superhero adaptations during the time, eschewing the colorful vibrancy of their comic origins for a grittier, more grounded appearance.

Another formidable aspect of the series was its powerful ensemble of supporting characters. Among these were Central City Police scientist Tina McGee, played by Amanda Pays, who assists Barry in both understanding his new powers and fighting crime. Alex Désert starred as Julio Mendez, Barry’s co-worker at the police station, providing a link to Barry's former life.

One of the highlights of the series was the rogues gallery filled with an eclectic mix of villains. From the classic Trickster (played by Mark Hamill) to Captain Cold, Mirror Master, and others, the show excellently incorporated some of Flash's most known and iconic villains. Even as standalone episodes, the series used these villains to full effect, often driving the action and character development.

The Flash set itself apart by infusing the storylines with a combination of superhero action, crime procedural, and sci-fi elements. Each episode often felt like an individual comic book issue, with Flash facing off against an assortment of villains, as well as wrestling with personal issues and the challenges of his secret identity.

The series emphasized on the human aspect of Barry Allen rather than being solely focused on the superhero persona of the Flash. It delved into his struggles and relationships, showcasing glimpses of vulnerability and compassion that make superheroes relatable and human.

Despite being well received by audiences and critics alike, The Flash struggled in the ratings and was unfortunately shelved after just a single season. However, in its brief run, The Flash managed to assemble a faithful following that has kept alive the memory of this superhero action drama.

In essence, The Flash was an ambitious attempt at integrating comic book mythology into the episodic format of television. It was a trendsetter of its time and has since inspired countless superhero shows that have become ubiquitous on our screens today. Though its runtime was brief, The Flash from CBS during 1990-1991 will always be remembered in the annals of early superhero television for its unique attempt to bring vibrant comic-book narratives to the real world.

The Flash is a series that is currently running and has 7 seasons (141 episodes). The series first aired on January 1, 1990.

The Flash
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Growing Pains
7. Growing Pains
April 13, 2021
When a mysterious ice powered enemy frames Frost for a brutal crime, she must find a way to clear her name. Meanwhile, Barry and Iris have a surprise houseguest, and Joe continues to deal with Kristen Kramer (guest star Carmen Moore).
The One with the Nineties
6. The One with the Nineties
April 6, 2021
Cisco and Chester travel back in time and get stuck in 1998, repeating the same day over and over again. The key to returning home is at Chester's childhood home but he refuses to visit. Meanwhile, Iris forges a connection with the speed force.
Fear Me
5. Fear Me
March 30, 2021
When a powerful new villain, Psych (guest star ENNIS ESMER), channels and amplifies everyone's fears in order to wreak havoc on Central City, Barry realizes, with Cecile's help, that he must face his own worst fear in order to beat this new threat. Meanwhile, Joe is surprised when Kristen Kramer (guest star Carmen Moore) from the Governor's Municipal Logistics Commission drops into CCPD for a visit. Iris warns her father to dig deeper on why Kristen is actually there. Caitlin and Frost argue about how to live their lives.
Central City Strong
4. Central City Strong
March 23, 2021
The Flash must deal with the sudden return to Central City of Abra Kadabra (David Dastmalchian), who's back with a vengeance and a score to settle.
3. Mother
March 16, 2021
As Eva becomes more powerful, Barry and the team must find a way to stop her. They are shocked when an old friend, Sue Dearbon (recurring guest star Natalie Dreyfuss), risks her life to help.
The Speed of Thought
2. The Speed of Thought
March 9, 2021
When Barry suddenly gains the power of speed thinking, he attempts to use his new gift to save Iris. While Barry is thrilled with his new power, Cisco is hesitant to trust it. Meanwhile, Eva must face a shattering truth.
All's Wells That Ends Wells
1. All's Wells That Ends Wells
March 2, 2021
In the season seven premiere, Nash Wells searches for a way to save The Flash after an experiment to save Barry's speed backfires, and comes up with a dangerous plan.
Where to Watch The Flash
The Flash is available for streaming on the CBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Flash on demand at Amazon, Vudu, DC Universe, Microsoft Movies & TV and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    January 1, 1990
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (8,128)