At the end of last season of “The Flash,” Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) pulled one of the biggest no-no’s in the time-travel rule book: he went back and stopped someone from dying.
Said someone was Barry’s mother, Nora (Michelle Harrison), and her death has followed him ever since — his father was held in jail for years; he dedicated his first year as Flash to finding her killer; and he even returned to the scene of her murder once before just to say goodbye one last time. After his race with Zoom (Teddy Sears) at the end of season two, Barry made the choice to go back and stop the Reverse-Flash all those years ago. The result? Success. Or so it seemed.
Here, Variety chats with Todd Helbing, executive producer on “The Flash,” about Flashpoint, and where Season 3 is headed.
How is Barry enjoying his new life?
When we meet him, he’s been living this life for about three months and for him it feels like everything he ever wanted. While Barry has always been this optimistic guy on the outside, he’s had this void in his life since his mother died and his father was taken from him. To have this life with both of his parents alive, in that aspect, he’s completely fulfilled. The other life and other family he created with the Wests and the people of S.T.A.R. Labs is completely different. He begins to experience the ramifications of the choices that he made that created Flashpoint.
Season 2 went to a pretty dark place near the end, compared to the first season’s lighter tone. What tone can we expect in Season 3?
Yeah, we definitely realized it got pretty last season so Season 3 is going to be more tonally similar to Season 1. There are a lot of ramifications for what Barry did, but as the season goes on, he gets more of the pep in his step that he had in the first season.
Flashpoint is an epic Flash story. What was it like to adapt that storyline for TV?
It was a lot of fun. We always have the same challenge when we want to adapt any of the storylines from the comic books — obviously Flashpoint is this iconic story and there are a lot of characters in it that we didn’t have access to, so we put it through “The Flash” TV filter. To me, it was the most fun adaptation we have done so far. We knew pretty much at the beginning of Season 2 where we were headed and it just felt the most organic to spin into Flashpoint at the beginning of Season 3.
How do the Season 3 villains — Dr. Alchemy and Savitar — differ from Reverse-Flash and Zoom in how they affect Barry?
There’s kind of a two-pronged attack this year. Dr. Alchemy has this Philosopher’s Stone, which is the source of his power, while Savitar focuses more on psychological warfare, which is an aspect we haven’t explored before. You’ll see how they work together — once Barry thinks he has a handle on Alchemy, Savitar rears his ugly head. The two of them combined are this two-pronged attack that Flash hasn’t had to deal with before.
Last week, The Dominators were announced as the big bad for the epic four-show crossover later this season. Will you be laying the groundwork as early for this year’s crossover as you did in years past?
No, no. We’re not setting up another show this year thankfully, which was pretty difficult. It’s a story that begins in “Supergirl.” But we’re not burdened with setting up another show so that helps a lot. Now, we’re writing four episodes with however many characters that have their own set of problems, so that’s the new challenge, but also a lot of fun. It’s really like a three-and-a-half-to-four hour movie, which is pretty awesome.
“The Flash” Season 3 premiere airs tonight on the CW at 9 p.m.