For the first time in the history of CW’s “The Flash,” Barry and his team will be facing off against a non-speedster big bad this season. As viewers already know, this non-speedster villain is The Thinker, who also goes by the name Clifford DeVoe. The Thinker is just one of the several non-speedster antagonists of the Scarlet Speedster in the comics, so a lot of fans are curious as to why the character was chosen as the first non-speedster big bad for Team Flash.
In a recent interview with Variety, executive producer Todd Helbing offered an explanation for how they ended up choosing The Thinker (Neil Sandilands) as the show’s first non-speedster big bad.
“In the long list of metahumans that we can have, some feel like they work better in an episode, some feel like they have more of an episodic arc, but The Thinker has been a guy who’s been on the board since Season 1,” Helbing said. “When we knew we didn’t want to do a speedster, there was such a breadth of new challenges that somebody with super intelligence could pose to Barry (Grant Gustin) and the team. The Thinker’s powers sort of allow us to not have Barry fight the same sort of villain. He presents a completely new set of obstacles, and tonally that was exactly what we were looking to do.”
Although The Thinker’s comic book counterpart is known for controlling other people’s mind using his invention called the Thinking Cap, Helbing previously revealed that the show’s version of the DC villain doesn’t do a lot of mind control.
“Like always, we take the villains and put them through our ‘Flash’ television blender,” Helbing told Rotten Tomatoes when asked about The Thinker’s superpowers. “It’s not that we fully re-imagine every single one of these guys or girls, but we certainly give them powers that we think fit better organically in our show. So we’ve done the same thing with The Thinker here. It’s not so much mind control as it is just he is the ultimate chess master. There’s some metahuman capabilities on top of his thinking capacity, but I can’t spoil it for you.”
While Helbing was tight-lipped on when exactly the Thinker will appear on the show, the exec producer told The Hollywood Reporter that fans will “get to see him pretty early on” in the new season.
“The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EDT on The CW.