The Flash’s John Wesley Shipp Explains What Flashtime Is

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Tonight’s episode of The Flash promises to be one of the show’s most high concept outings yet. Titled “Enter Flashtime,” it’ll see Barry Allen enter a permanent state of slowed down time in order to think of a way to save Central City when a nuclear bomb begins to go off. It’s a tough situation, but at least he’ll have a couple of speedster friends to help him, namely Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) and Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp).

But what is Flashtime exactly? Unusually, it’s an original concept for the TV series, and one that’s only been introduced this season. Back in “The Trial of the Flash,” Barry used the ability to hold a conversation with Iris in the middle of his court proceedings. In this episode, the premise is entirely based around the device, which should make things interesting.

John Wesley Shipp recently spoke to ComicBook.com to elaborate a little on the Flashtime concept, congratulating writers Sterling Gates and Todd Helbing for coming up with such a fascinating idea. For him, what makes it so exciting is how it amps up the tension.

“I was talking to Sterling Gates — and I have to tip my hat to Sterling and Todd Helbing, because the whole concept of this episode, I find so exciting. The idea that we all enter Flashtime, which almost but not quite freezes real time, and that if we ever stop, it’s game over. And speedsters can’t run forever. And so how long can we keep going? And can we keep going long enough to figure out a solution before we have to go back to real time, and it’s game over? So I just think that concept is brilliant. And so, you’ve got us operating in Flashtime together.”

Shipp went on to say how Flashtime can be compared to the Speed Force, the mystical other realm that speedsters are connected to, though it heightens the stakes even more as events are still happening in the real world.

“The stakes are higher because we’re under an extreme time crunch. So everything is heightened. It is the same idea going into the Speed Force, but this there’s a heightened sense of what’s gotta happen in a split second.”

“Enter Flashtime” marks Shipp’s first appearance in season 4 of The Flash, which is in sharp contrast to his major role in the first three seasons. This seems to be part of the different direction the show has gone in this year which has seen it move away from an emphasis on speedsters. After all, Jesse Quick has also only appeared in a cameo before now and Kid Flash was written out within a few episodes.

Be sure to catch The Flash “Enter Flashtime” tonight on The CW.

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