The Flash’s re­boot of Har­ri­son Wells cre­ated a cur­mud­geonly ge­nius… and a classic dou­ble act

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Viewscreen -

UK Broad­cast Sky 1, fin­ished US Broad­cast The CW, fin­ished

The gamechang­ing cliffhanger at the end of The Flash sea­son two – with Barry trav­el­ling back in time to save his mother – prom­ises great things for sea­son three, but also presents one ma­jor con­cern: with the sub­se­quent changes to the time­line, are we go­ing to get yet an­other ver­sion of Har­ri­son Wells?

We’ve al­ready had one change. In sea­son one he was ac­tu­ally evil speed­ster Eo­bard Thawne (aka Re­verse-Flash) dis­guised in a Wells skin suit. As the show’s res­i­dent evil ge­nius he was driven and ruth­less but with a hint of melan­choly. In sea­son two we were in­tro­duced to Earth-2’s ver­sion of Wells, and the change in the char­ac­ter was a mas­ter­stroke.

Why? Well, it would have been so easy sim­ply to make a “nice” Wells to con­trast with Thawne-Wells. In­stead they made him grumpy, self­cen­tred, short-tem­pered and with­er­ingly sar­cas­tic. Tom

Ca­vanagh took that and ran with it to pro­duce one of TV’s great­est cur­mud­geons; Steve Jobs meets Vic­tor Mel­drew.

For the first two-thirds of the sea­son he was TV sci-fi’s most watch­able anti-hero since Blake’s Seven’s Avon, forced into be­ing a good guy but mak­ing sure ev­ery­body knew ex­actly how much per­sonal pain he was en­dur­ing in the process. His undis­guised con­tempt for Jay – his world’s Flash – was re­fresh­ing at a point when ev­ery­body else was fawn­ing over the phoney hero.

Later in the sea­son he soft­ened but his com­pet­i­tive and com­bat­ive re­la­tion­ship with Cisco re­mained. They formed a hugely en­ter­tain­ing sparky dou­ble act with in­ven­tive in­sults fly­ing back and forth, but all the time you knew Wells loved the guy like a son.

So please come back next sea­son, Earth-2 Wells. We don’t want an­other timey­wimey vari­ant. Dave Golder

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