The creator and executive producer of Arrow and The Flash, Greg Berlanti's responsible for a new sort of TV family drama that explores territory rooted in characters based on DC Comics heroes.
"I think what really ends up connecting a lot of people as they get older," he told Out, "Is they realize that straight people and gay people -- we can all feel isolated and we can all feel alone and I think that's at the core sometimes of the sadness of DC Comics characters -- they are burdened by their identity, and so they have this secret identity and this life where they act as a hero and this life that they keep secret."
The Flash premieres Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 8/7c and Arrow returns with Season 3 on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c only on The CW.
Now in its third season, the show tells the story of billionaire playboy, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who fights crime and corruption using his bow and arrow to thwart villains. As the new season begins, crime is down and Oliver finally has a chance to fight for his personal life. The series also stars John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn, Colton Haynes as Arsenal, and will feature Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer.
What to look forward to:
Ra's al Ghul
Arrow's main villain this year is Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable), who was most recently seen in a different guise played by Liam Neeson in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy. Also joining the series is Brandon Routh as Atom (a.k.a. Ray Palmer), a fellow superhero, potentially offering assistance to Oliver.
For Oliver Queen, the main issue this season is very much rooted in the question: "Can I be a superhero and have a life?" Berlanti admits that he starts off the year thinking, No, but that will change throughout the season. "He'll have some of his highest highs that people haven't seen yet and also lowest lows," Berlanti reveals.
First introduced in the second season of Arrow, The Flash will follow Barry Allen, an assistant police forensic investigator, who learns how to control new superpowers following a chemical explosion. He will face a new slate of villains, including Heat Wave and Captain Cold, played by two former Prison Break co-stars, Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller, respectively.
What to look forward to:
The first season, in true origin fashion, is very much about a man discovering his power and deciding what's the best way to use that.
Of the two gay characters introduced in the first season of The Flash, one will be David Singh, a closeted crime lab director played by Patrick Sabongui. The other will be DC Comics first openly gay villain, Pied Piper. "We're introducing him in the back half of the year," Berlanti says. So expect the character, who still has yet to be cast, to make his first appearance sometime after Christmas.
While he hopes each show develops its own audience, Berlanti believes there will be a lot of viewers that share an interest in both Arrow and The Flash. One way the network plans to play on that is with a crossover event in December. "It reminds me of the kinds I watched as a kid with The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman," Berlanti says. "I loved these things because they always felt bigger than life when those two worlds collide."