The Flash Season 3 interview: showrunner Aaron Helbing

At the end of The Flash’s second season, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) made a bold decision to go back and time and prevent his mother’s murder. So season three will pick up with the Flashpoint story inspired by the comics. They’ve cast multiple new villains including Dr. Alchemy and Savitar.

Over the summer, we spoke with showrunner Aaron Helbing (who runs The Flash along with his brother Todd Helbing) after The CW’s DC superhero panel for the Television Critics Association, which included the announcement of a Flash/Supergirl musical crossover. The Flash returns tonight, and Helbing previewed season three’s stories and characters. 

Are there more evil speedsters than good ones at this point?

[Laughs] Well, I would say based on our current count, sure. We hope to level the playing field I guess as the season progresses.

Does that mean introducing even more speedsters?

We introduce Kid Flash in “Flashpoint.” We’ve set up Wally West, even from season two as being this need for speed. I think as the season progresses, we definitely plan on exploring Wally West and potential abilities.

Introducing Kid Flash in “Flashpoint,” is he still Wally West when we get back to Earth 1?

Well, yeah, because the way the season ended, he doesn’t have powers. Yes.

Why was Dr. Alchemy the right Big Bad for season three?

I think we wanted to explore a non-speedster. There will be another speedster as well that we announced, Savitar, in addition to Dr. Alchemy. It felt interesting to have someone like an alchemist who can take X and turn it into Y, and how essentially that’s what happened with Barry. Barry was a normal CSI and then he got struck by the particle accelerator and became The Flash. When you have someone like a Dr. Alchemy, one, we were just excited because he’s been a villain in the comic books for so long. We talked about ways to try to bring in Dr. Alchemy. We’re always trying to look at new ways to bring in the vast sea of villains that we have to play with. I think with Dr. Alchemy it just felt like a really interesting angle to go this season.

And then why Savitar?

Savitar is a very evil speedster.

More evil than we’ve seen Reverse-Flash and Zoom?

I don’t want to qualify the levels of evil because evil is evil, to be honest. He’s gonna be a really powerful villain. He’s going to be a really formidable adversary for Flash and the team. In much the way Harrison Wells as Reverse-Flash, the season one Thawne Flash and the season two Zoom, I feel like Savitar is going to pick up the mantle and will continue that mantle of evil speedsters really well, put it that way.

Do any of these new speedsters challenge the way you do the visual effects?

You know, with Reverse-Flash, he vibrated and we had the red lightning. It does. Every year we try to challenge ourselves and Armen Kevorkian, who’s our VFX supervisor, and everyone at Encore, they step up to the plate. It’s a significant challenge. I think with Savitar it’s going to be just as big of a challenge as it was bringing Zoom to life and making him as menacing as possible.

You also just cast Grey Damon as Mirror Master.

I’m super excited to see Mirror Master and Captain Cold in the same episode. So Wentworth [Miller] is coming back in addition to Grey. I’ve been a huge fan of Grey’s. I loved him on Aquarius. I loved him on Friday Night Lights so to be able to work with Grey again is just going to be amazing.

Is that during Flashpoint if Captain Cold is back?

I can’t say.

Is there another way you can bring Captain Cold back?

Well, because of the world that we live in, because of time travel, because just anything is possible. This is what I love about The Flash. Nothing is ever off the table. The way in episode 217 when Barry went back in time, we saw Eddie Thawne still alive and how that affected Barry emotionally. When you’re in The Flash universe, anything is possible.

That’s true, it could be the Captain Cold before he got on the Waverider.

Everything is on the table. That’s what I’ll say. Everything is always on the table with the show.

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