The series was at its gloomiest ever during its third season run.
Spinning off from The CW's hugely successful show 'Arrow', 'The Flash' has gained legions of fans of its own and is now one of the US network's most successful series, bringing in millions of viewers each week as it tells the story of the titular hero, also known as Barry Allen. Played by Grant Gustin, the character has often been a goofy and funny guy, but during season 3 he became more serious than ever before.
Grant Gustin returns as The Flash in season 4
With fans picking up on the tonal change of the series, there have been calls for the Scarlet Speedster to go back to his roots and have a good time whilst saving the world. Now, with fresh words from someone who works closely on the show, it looks like the future is brighter for the DC Comics hero.
Speaking to ComicBook.com, showrunner Todd Helbing teased of the show's next season: “Last year, once we showed Iris die in the future, to keep up that doom and gloom, it becomes a burden, and not just on us writing-wise, on the show and it just sort of had this pall over the season that I think we didn’t expect to be so heavy. I’m not trying to say anything bad about season 3. I love season 3, and I love Savitar, and I love the story we told, but I think that’s about as dark as I ever want to go with the show. So yeah, I think that was a conscious effort of ours to really go back to everybody enjoyed being on this team and with each other, and make The Flash have fun again. I’m really excited about the scripts so far; they’re really, really funny.”
Finding that balance of humour and great, dramatic storytelling has got to be one of the biggest challenges for those who write television shows. You can never predict exactly how an audience will react to a storyline - as those working on 'Arrow' discovered during a couple of its earlier seasons - but you can feel them out with previous episodes of the series, picking up on what worked and what should be left in the past.
It would be a shame for 'The Flash' to turn into something completely meaningless and just be a humour-packed comedy show, so hopefully the balancing of the scales is something that's been achieved here with season 4. We'll find out a little later this year.
'The Flash' season 4 is set to premiere on Tuesday, October 10 on The CW in the US, and is expected to return to Sky1 in the UK shortly thereafter.