The Flash has come up against a number of fearsome foes since his television series began, but the most challenging of all is the COVID-19 pandemic – which temporarily put the brakes on the whole production.
The CW has had to radically alter its usual schedule, meaning DC’s signature speedster will see a slightly longer break than usual between seasons, but rest assured he will return to save the day once more.
In July, the broadcaster announced plans for work to resume on its superhero shows in late August, made possible by the fact they are filmed in Canada, which hasn’t been hit as severely as the United States.
The upcoming episodes will have to tie up loose ends from the previous batch, which was cut short due to the outbreak of the illness, while also darting off into brand new territory.
Here’s everything we know so far about The Flash season seven…
The Flash season 7 release date: When is it back?
Due to the coronavirus, The Flash is headed back to television at a slower pace than usual. The series typically airs from early October, but as the pandemic has made it difficult to film safely, the series will instead begin at a later date in 2021.
At the time of writing, the series is expected to premiere in January, but this could change depending on how the next few months pan out.
According to Deadline, Warner Bros is tentatively planning for production on The Flash to resume in late August, between 20-27th August, at its usual shooting location in Vancouver, Canada.
Actors flying in from the United States will have to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival.
The Flash season 7 spoilers: What will happen next?
Flickering Myth reports the following synopsis has been provided by The CW for season seven of The Flash, promising more high-speed thrills and surprises…
“After a thrilling cliffhanger last season which saw the new Mirror Master (Efrat Dor) victorious and still-at-large in Central City, The Flash must regroup in order to stop her and find a way to make contact with his missing wife, Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton)…
“Flash will ultimately defeat Mirror Master. But in doing so, he’ll also unleash an even more powerful and devastating threat on Central City: one that threatens to tear his team—and his marriage—apart.”
However, while fans can expect the same action-packed stories and eccentric villains, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted how the storyline of season seven will be structured.
This is because episodes that had been planned for the end of season six will now be incorporated, in some form, into the beginning of season seven, knocking the typical narrative arc slightly off-kilter.
In an interview with TV Line, showrunner Eric Wallace explained: “Because this is The Flash, there’s a huge twist at the end of every season, and that twist is now kind of coming in the middle of the [start of the] season.
“That has really affected our storytelling for all of season seven.”
Don’t fear though, Flash fans! The team behind the popular show is optimistic this unexpected change could lead to one of their best years yet, pushing them into more experimental territory…
Wallace added: “Amid the horror and the tragedy of what’s happening with this pandemic, if we can find some kind of lemonade in the lemon, it’s us having to rethink a few things about how a Flash season looks, given this ‘narrative unpredictability’ to the season.”
The Flash season 7 cast: Who is returning?
Grant Gustin will don the iconic red costume for a seventh season, which will see him clash with the devious Mirror Master as well as an assortment of all-new foes.
Candice Patton returns as his wife, Iris West-Allen, along Carlos Valdes and Tom Kavanagh as super-powered allies Cisco Ramon and Nash Wells.
The writers had planned for Danielle Panabaker, who plays Caitlin Snow, to go on maternity leave during season seven, but due to the filming delay she may be available for more episodes than expected. It remains to be seen how the show will tackle the logistics of this evolving situation.
Expect to see more of Jesse L Martin as Barry’s adoptive father Joe West, Danielle Nicolet as meta-attorney Cecile Horton, Kayla Compton as tough reporter Allegra Garcia and Brandon McKnight as tech whizz Chester P Runk.
Hartley Sawyer fired from The Flash
One cast member who will not be returning to The Flash next year is Hartley Sawyer, who had played Ralph Dibny (aka Elongated Man) since season four.
Offensive tweets resurfaced from the actor’s past causing fury among fans on social media, prompting showrunner Eric Wallace to announce he had been fired from the series.
Sawyer said in a statement: “My words, irrelevant of being meant with an intent of humour, were hurtful, and unacceptable. I am ashamed I was capable of these really horrible attempts to get attention at that time.
“I regret them deeply. This was not acceptable behaviour. These were words I threw out at the time with no thought or recognition of the harm my words could do, and now have done today.”
He added: “I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then. I want to be very clear: this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now.”
The Flash is available to stream on NOW TV. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.