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Thanks to a science experiment-gone-wrong in Season 1, normal-guy Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is living in fast-forward as masked superhero The Flash in fun sci-fi series, er, The Flash (2014-current; the first two seasons are on Showmax right now). But just because he moves at the speed of sound doesn’t mean that Barry doesn’t need a break.

“I’m exhausted just thinking about it!” laughs Grant. “It’s crazy – we get over the hump [mid-way] part of each season and then we really settle and have fun.”

The actor adds that the hardest part of moving fast on the show is looking like an athlete. “Wow! I did a lot of training before I went to do the pilot. I’ve always been really thin but needed a bit of weight! And I had to learn to run [Laughs].”

Plus, a 12-hour shooting day doesn’t leave him much time for a workout. Not that Grant’s character needs to hit the gym – Barry/The Flash is always on the move and doesn’t break a sweat. And that’s a good thing: protecting Central City is a lot harder than Barry realised. At least he’s got a team at STAR Labs who’re helping him save the day and with his personal quest – Barry has been searching for the truth about his mother’s supernatural death since he was a boy.

But before he figures that out, Barry is going to have to deal with a couple of crazy characters knocking on his front door in Seasons 1 and 2 of The Flash!

ZOOM-ing in

Zoom (Ryan Handley) isn’t your flash-in-the-pan baddie. He’s a super-villain. Series creator Andrew Kreisberg says that “we’re excited about Zoom and the challenges he brings. Zoom is terrifying and scary and super-fast…” But like any crime lord, Zoom doesn’t get his hands dirty at first – he sends a minion to cause chaos in Central City. In Season 2, episode 1, Atom Smasher shows up and uses his super strength to bulldoze his way through anyone. And in a touch of art imitating life, Atom Smasher got his strength from his days as a wrestler – the character is played by ex-WWE Superstar Adam Copeland (aka Edge).

Back in a FLASH

Season 2’s first episode ends with a stranger arriving at STAR Labs – he introduces himself as Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) and has a warning. A black hole has been created and it’s devouring the world, starting with Central City. But that’s not the craziest part of Jay’s story – he’s The Flash too! He’s from Earth-2, a parallel-universe version of Earth.

Playing with the SAND MONSTER

Jay isn’t the only visitor from another universe who’s in town – Zoom brings Eddie Slick (Kett Turton) to Earth-1 and turns him into a monster called Sand Demon. Luckily running isn’t the only thing Barry’s good at – he quickly comes up with a plan to stop Sand Demon and, well, let’s just say that the result is shatteringly cool, thanks to the special effects used during Flash and Sand Demon’s confrontation.

Razor-sharp JAWS

What would a sci-fi series be without a non-human villain? Don’t worry – there’s one swimming into town in Season 2, episode 4, and he’s going to take a chomp out of Barry … if King Shark (David Hayter) can catch The Flash that is. King Shark has been sent to literally eat Barry alive and thanks to his shark jaws, that’s as easy as taking a bite from a juicy steak!

ZOOM-ing in for seconds

It’s only in Season 2, episode 18 that Zoom actually gets what he’s after: The Flash’s speed. Zoom uses his science smarts to slow Barry down to normal again and he injects himself with a syringe of “Flash in a vial”. That leaves Zoom as Central City’s new “mega-super-speedster villain”, and Barry moving in slow motion. How will not-so-speedy Flash save the city, his friends and himself now?

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