The CW Network released this first look at the new Flash costume and announced that filming of the pilot episode will begin this week. This time around, the supersuit developed by Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood seems to have kept with the modern design continuity of her costume for Stephen Amell’s Arrow while possibly pulling in some inspiration from Chris Evans’ Captain America costume from Captain America: The First Avenger, with that 1940s leather football helmet look, complete with chin guard.
Captain America–inspiration for the new Flash supersuit helmet?
The primary red-colored suit from the decades of comic book artist renderings has been cast aside for an edgier, dark look, also perhaps taking the lead from the darker mood of the Arrow series’ new DC universe that the new Barry Allen/Flash springs from. The color also resembles the classic Flash series that this new series will be undoubtedly compared to, possibly the best incarnation of a costumed hero to appear on TV or film, worn in 1990-1991 by actor John Wesley Shipp, shown here:
The original Flash–a supersuit that can’t be beat.
Well it’s been one long year, with plenty to do and see, plenty of good and not-so-good to read and watch, and we’re certain we read more and reviewed more content this year than ever before. And that in no less way was true for TV watching. At the same time we waded through all that Hollywood had to offer and honed in on the genre films we thought were worth examining. We went back and looked at it all and pulled together our 25 picks for our annual Best of the Best list. Today we reveal the best content focusing on the moving image, and tomorrow we’ll run through our picks for the best in print and other media. We hope you agree with many of these great creations of the entertainment industries, and wish everyone a great 2014!
Year’s Best Fantasy Fix – The Wizard of Oz in Theaters. It’s a film that has been viewed on TV so many times you might take it for granted. It’s historically been on many movie reviewers’ Top 20 movies of all time. But when you watch The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in the middle of a year of modern blockbusters you realize how it can stand up against anything Hollywood has to offer today, even after 70 years. Remastering the print for a new generation to see it in theaters was a highlight for movie watchers this year.
Year’s Best Sci-Fi Fix — Almost Human, Fox. Like Continuum last year, the new series Almost Human created a future world that is believable and full of extraordinary technologies based in today’s science and touching on social issues of any day. And even putting aside its buddy cop and police procedural brilliance, every episode plunged us into future police grappling with incredible technologies–DNA bombs criminals use to contaminate a crime scene, identity masking technology to avoid facial recognition video monitors–it was the best dose of sci-fi in 2013.
Best TV Series — Orphan Black, BBC America. What rose above everything on TV or film this year was BBC America’s new series, the almost indescribable Orphan Black. From its initial trailers that piqued our interest, to the surprise series consisting of one actress playing multiple roles that dazzled from out of nowhere, magical special effects, and a unique story of clones and X-Files-inspired intrigue propelled Orphan Black to be our clear winner for Best TV Series of 2013.
“I’m guessing you don’t know how hard it is to break someone’s neck.”
Grant Gustin joins the CW Network’s Arrow team this Wednesday as Barry Allen–the classic DC Comics scientist who becomes the Flash. A new preview just released gives viewers our first glimpse at Allen’s first encounter with Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen. Gustin is slated to use Arrow as a springboard onto his own spinoff series featuring the Flash next year.
It’s not the first time the Flash had his own series. Many fans of classic TV consider the 1990-1991 TV series starring John Wesley Shipp to be not only the definitive superhero series, but one of the all-time best costumed hero portrayals, with an incredible costume for the speedy hero.
The obvious first reaction is how young Gustin appears. His Barry Allen looks like Andrew Garfield’s gawky youth in The Amazing Spider-man. Shipp was 35 when he played Allen. Gustin is 23.
Check out this first look at Gustin as Barry Allen in this scene from Arrow:
If you haven’t watched last night’s second season premiere episode of CW’s Arrow, “City of Heroes,” then come back after you’ve seen it…
…and once you’re back… WOW! What a season opener! We couldn’t ask for more action and drama. CW really delivered one of the best season two starts in recent memory.
At first… confusion! John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) in an old plane flying over the island where Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was marooned for five years? Parachuting to the island and revealing Oliver had used the island as a retreat from the turmoil he left back in Starling City was a great place to begin. We don’t want Felicity and Oliver as love interests, but we can’t get enough of them working together, and from this episode it looks like she is a full partner in Oliver’s Starling clean-up business. And she even had a new compound bow custom made for him.
You could flip around the cable channels and find the stand-up/sketch/comedy/improv TV series Whose Line is it Anyway? airing at different times and on different networks over the past 25 years and you may find it hard to tell which version of the series you’re watching. Is it the series with Ryan Stiles? Oh, wait, Ryan has been in every version of the series. Is it the version with the famously funny balding Canadian Colin Mochrie? Oh, wait, Colin has been in every iteration of the show, too. The fact is, Whose Line is it Anyway?–the show where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter–is still running and still funny after all these years because the format works and the recurring players keep coming up with new laughs.
The current series, still carrying the original name, is now in reruns from its inaugural 2013 season earlier this year on the CW Network. The 1988 series featured host Clive Anderson and was filmed in England and aired for ten years. The second version of the series moved to the States on ABC and featured host Drew Carey. It ran nine seasons with its last episode in 2006. The third version of the series changed from the production stage format with the studio audience and moved to Las Vegas as a nightclub act of sorts, again featuring Drew Carey as the host. Airing on the Game Show Network, it ran for 40 episodes in 2011 under the name Drew Carey’s Improv-a-ganza. This year the fourth version of the series began, back with the format from England and ABC and carrying the Whose Line is it Anyway? title.
Summer Glau, star of Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and guest actress on Alphas, Chuck, The Cape, Dollhouse, The Big Bang Theory, The 4400 and Angel, adds another genre TV series to her already extensive catalog of roles. Glau will be portraying Arrow antagonist Isabel Rochev in a recurring role on the second season of the CW’s Arrow opposite Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen.
Green Arrow readers will recognize Rochev from the 2010 Green Arrow #1 (Volume 4), created by J.T. Krul and Diogenes Neves. Rochev, who the CW revealed will be the Vice President of Acquisitions for Stellmoor International, a company looking to take over Queen Consolidated, was a minor but interesting character from the recent past in the Green Arrow universe. In the comic book series, Rochev worked in the diamond mines of Siberia in her youth. When she met Oliver Queen’s father Robert visiting her village, he inspired her on to bigger and better things. Eventually she came to take over Queen Industries. She saw herself as Robert’s true love and had a goal of eliminating Oliver. She managed to get her hands on Moira Queen’s wedding ring, and wore it along with a strange mask.
borg.com readers may remember Veronica Mars as one of our favorite characters of all time. In its three seasons Veronica Mars became one of the best series on TV. As borg.com writer Elizabeth C. Bunce wrote, “Complex, smart, independent, and vulnerable–with a kickass cool job–characters don’t come much better than Veronica Mars.” More than 2 million viewers tuned in each week for its first two seasons on UPN and its last season on the CW Network between 2004 and 2007. Yesterday the biggest Kickstarter campaign ever resulted in an amazingly fast accumulation of donations–more than $2 million in 11 hours–enough to green light the Veronica Mars big-screen movie, now scheduled to film this summer for an early 2014 release.
Series creator Rob Thomas launched the project. Series star Kristen Bell has signed on as has Veronica’s dad Keith, played by Enrico Colantoni, and Veronica’s pals Logan (Jason Dohring), Wallace (Percy Daggs III), Weevil (Francis Capra), Mac (Tina Majorino), Dick (Ryan Hansen) and Piz (Chris Lowell), according to the Kickstarter website. Unlikely to return, unless they come back in flashbacks or as ghosts, are the ill-fated Les Miserables star Amanda Seyfried as Lilly, CW Network’s Cult star Alona Tal as Meg, Jaime Ray Newman as Mindy O’Dell, or Ed Begley, Jr. as Principal O’Dell. But why not bring back Dallas star Julie Gonzalo as Parker, New Girl star Max Greenfield as Leo, Teddy Dunn as Duncan, The Anchorman’s Paul Rudd as Desmond Fellows, Unstoppable’s Jessy Schram as Hannah, Just Shoot Me’s Laura San Giacomo as Keith’s girlfriend Harmony, Spin City’s Paula Marshall as Keith’s other girlfriend Rebecca, The Following’s Aaron Ashmore as Troy, or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Charisma Carpenter as Dick’s stepmom or Alyson Hannigan as Trina, or director Joss Whedon as the car rental guy or even Clerks’ Kevin Smith as the creepy convenience store clerk?
Review by C.J. Bunce
What hidden evil lurks in the hearts of TV producers? There must be something going around in Hollywood about cults and serial killers. That is, cults made up of serial killers. Last month we reviewed the pilot of The Following, starring Kevin Bacon as a has-been detective tracking down a recently escaped serial killer. It’s four episodes in and so far, so good. Starting Tuesday on the CW Network another new cult themed series debuts, titled Cult. We at borg.com previewed the pilot and found both of these new series have enough differences, and enough going for them, to watch and keep watching them both.
CW’s Cult offers enough layers of creative theatrics that you’ll want to check it out just to see how the producers introduce a series-within-a-series. That’s right–Cult is two shows in one. The series centers on a fictional Warner Bros. production of a TV show called “Cult,” featuring an actor named Roger Reeves (Robert Knepper) who in turn is playing the character of Billy Grimm, a charismatic, religious, rural cult leader. The fictional “Cult” also stars an actress named Marti Gerritsen (played in real life by Alona Tal) as LAPD detective Kelly Collins. Formerly close to Grimm, Collins is trying to learn what happened to her sister and her sister’s son, somehow taken under the influence of Grimm’s cult. Genre fans will instantly recognize Knepper from Heroes, Prison Break, and SGU Stargate Universe, as well as his guest roles on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager, and Alona Tal as Veronica’s best pal Meg on Veronica Mars, Jo Harville from Supernatural, and notable guest roles on Monk and Leverage.
This series-within-the-series is a quick-paced mystery with a horror twist and altogether pretty fun stuff. Tal is tough and determined and Knepper brings in just the right amount of creepiness. And he acts differently when seen outside the series as actor Roger Reeves. In fact, we hope the producers break out of form at some point to show complete episodes of the inside show. At times the show-within-the-show looks like it could quickly suck in viewers more than the main plot. It even includes a bizarre and creepy catch-phrase likely to stick around in genre culture.
When we last saw Oliver Queen in the mid-season cliffhanger of the CW Network’s hit series Arrow, our hooded hero was soundly defeated by another expert with bow and arrow, the Dark Archer, finally revealed as Tommy’s father, played by sci-fi fan favorite actor John Barrowman. The hooded Green Arrow suffered his worst defeat so far in the series. Can he pick himself up to take on the newest threat to Starling City, who doesn’t use traditional weaponry? He will if Laurel Lance asks him for help.
Tonight Andrew Dunbar guest stars as firefighter Garfield Lynns aka DC Comics’ Firefly in the episode “Burned” at 7 p.m. Central on the CW Network.
Here’s a short preview of tonight’s episode: