By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
A few great holidays gifts, namely videos, have arrived over at Otaku no Culture. In the coming weeks, reviews of fond classics will be looked at. One such title that must be mentioned right away has to be with Warner Brother’s repackaged 2011 rerelease of The Flash from the 1990’s. Finding this red package under the mistletoe does not mean I’ll get a date with the lovely Amanda Pays — one of the reasons that I always watched this show — but the signature lightning bolt was too easy to recognize when I tried peeking through the wrapping paper.
I think the company listened to the fans many years back. To update the original cardboard packaging that was in the 2006 release to a proper clamshell case is a smart one. This particular release also corrects for a problem that was reported with the 2006 edition where playback of the pilot episode would either allegedly freeze the player or halt in the 1hr 31min mark. Otherwise, the contents are moreorless the same. With televisions now built for playing back cinema in widescreen (16:9) format, the 6 DVDs are not remastered to properly display the programs in its proper 4:3 aspect ratio. Viewers will have to adjust their DVD or TV settings when watching this program.
Some people may also wonder if another rerelease will be coming. I noticed a date of February 2015 on the computer systems of HMV when inquiring. Since there’s a five-year difference between the prior releases, the new year may see a new edition coming out. Hopefully this time, there will be extras, or it will get packaged along with the season one release of the 2014 Flash series. That can make for a great present for fans next Christmas! It would be awesome to watch this series again with commentary with both John Wesley Shipp and Grant Gustin talking about their experiences as the speedster. I feel that can be a hit for fans wondering if the two series are going to be related somehow.
At least for now, I can start comparing the 2014 show to the classic just to see just how much of the original series has been an influence to CW’s version. With the pilot movie, there’s certainly similarities in how the new Barry Allen and Shipp’s version get their power and are “experimented” upon before either can become a hero. As a very watchable trip through memory lane, this original series is more than just a nostalgia trip. The best episodes are still “The Trickster” and “Trial of the Trickster.” But to listen to Danny Elfman’s music from long ago is still a treat over the years!
Also, I think there’s more reasons behind why Shipp, Amanda Pays and Mark Hamill are returning to the new series. When the latter two are playing new versions of their former characters, some kind of plan must have been made. Perhaps Henry Allen is the Golden Age Flash that no one knows about. The Reverse Flash needs a motivation to visit the Allen house just to kill Barry’s mother. It is known that Henry is a respectable doctor before he got framed; but just what kind of medicine was he practising. Maybe it was nuclear? Does he know Dr. Harrison Wells? Just what kind of connections are there that has not been revealed yet?
I would scream like fanboy if series creators Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns are going to connect the two shows in quieter ways. The DC universe is made up of multiverses, with many versions of Earth where the timeline is different in many ways. When considering the 2014 series hinges on The Flash disappearing in a moment of “Crisis,” I’m guessing that there will be a TV version of The Crisis on Infinite Earths comic saga — especially when Flash’s role is pivotal to how that tale is resolved.
I can’t say for certain that’s what the producers have planned. That means bringing more superheroes to the fore in both Arrow and The Flash to make this storyline happen. Somehow, Supergirl and Green Lantern will become involved. Could that mean a television program for those two will be created? Only time will tell.