Arrow Season 1 - Episode 5
The first season of the American action television series Arrow premiered on The CW on October 10, 2012, at 8:00 pm (ET) and concluded on May 15, 2013, with a total of 23 episodes, after the network ordered a full season on October 22, 2012. The series is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, a costumed crime-fighter created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, and is set in the Arrowverse, sharing continuity with other Arrowverse television series. The showrunners for this season were Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg. Stephen Amell stars as Oliver Queen, with principal cast members Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen, and Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance.
Arrow Season 1 - Episode 5
The series follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who claimed to have spent five years shipwrecked on Lian Yu, a mysterious island in the North China Sea, before returning home to Starling City (later renamed "Star City") to fight crime and corruption as a secret vigilante whose weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. In the first season, Oliver returns to Starling City and is reunited with his mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson), his sister, Thea (Willa Holland), and his friend, Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). Oliver rekindles his relationships, while spending his nights hunting down and sometimes killing criminals as a hooded vigilante, known as The Hood. He uncovers Malcolm Merlyn's (John Barrowman) conspiracy to destroy "The Glades", a poorer section of the city that has become overridden with crime. John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) assist Oliver in his crusade. Oliver also reconnects with ex-girlfriend, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), who is still angry over his role in her sister, Sara's, presumed death, while her father, Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), suspects Oliver being the vigilante. The season features flashbacks to Oliver's first year on the island, and how it changed him, while trying to stop a mercenary force targeting the Chinese economy. After being saved by The Hood, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) attempts to find him so he will train him so he can help others.
Production on the pilot began in March 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Filming for the rest of the season began on July 18, 2012, and ended on April 18, 2013. The season was generally well received by critics, and averaged 3.68 million viewers each week. Amell's portrayal of Oliver Queen / Arrow drew comparison to Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, while the season itself was found to be still looking for its own identity. The season would go on to win multiple awards, including twenty-one nominations in various categories. The season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 17, 2013. The series was renewed for a second season on February 11, 2013.
On January 12, 2012, The CW was preparing a new series centered around the character Green Arrow, developed by Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim. A week later, the series, now known as Arrow, was ordered to pilot, which was directed by David Nutter, who also directed the pilot for Smallville, a series following Clark Kent on his journey to become Superman. At the end of the month, Stephen Amell was cast in the titular role of Oliver Queen. When developing the series, producer Marc Guggenheim expressed that the creative team wanted to "chart [their] own course, [their] own destiny", and avoid any direct connections to Smallville, which featured its own Green Arrow/Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley), opting to cast a new actor in the role of Oliver Queen. Unlike with Smallville, the series does not initially feature super-powered heroes and villains. Instead, the creative still took inspiration from Smallville, as one of the main themes of Arrow was to "look at the humanity" of Oliver Queen, as Smallville had done with Clark Kent. The decision not to include superpowers was, in part, based on the executives' desire to take a realistic look at the characters in this universe. The series was given a full season pick up on October 22, 2012.
The series develops relationship triangles: some love triangles, others designed to catch characters in "philosophical debates". Kreisberg provides one such example: "Every week, Oliver will be facing a bad guy, but the truth is, his real nemesis is Detective Lance, who's trying to bring him into justice.[...] His daughter is going to be caught in the middle, because she loves and respects her father, and she's always believed in what he believed, but at the same time, she's going to see this dark urban legend out there that's actually doing a lot of good; the kind of good that she wants to be doing in her role as a legal aid attorney." Learning from previous experiences working in television, the producers worked early on identifying the major story arcs for the series, specifically the first season, including "mapping out" how to accomplish them. Taking inspiration from Christopher Nolan's Batman film series, the creative team decided to "put it all out there" and "not hold back" from episode to episode.
The team strives to include various DC Comics characters and aspects of the DC universe. Guggenheim cited Big Belly Burger, a restaurant franchise introduced in the Superman comics, which appears in Arrow's third episode and onward. Kreisberg said, "There are so many characters in the DC Universe who haven't gotten their due in TV and film. We're so excited to reach into [the DC comics] roster and take some of these lesser-known characters that are beloved by fans, and do our spin on the characters."
On January 31, 2012 Stephen Amell became the first actor to be cast, having previously appeared on other CW dramas such as The Vampire Diaries and 90210. Fan reaction to Amell's casting was mixed, with many fans wanting Justin Hartley to reprise his role from Smallville. Amell was one of the first actors to audition for the role of Oliver Queen, and Kreisberg felt that he "hit the target from the outset" and "everyone else just paled in comparison". Arrow's pilot script was the first Amell auditioned for during pilot season, having received multiple scripts at the start of the year.Producer Marc Guggenheim expressed that the creative team wanted to "chart [their] own course, [their] own destiny", and avoid any direct connections to Smallville, which featured its own Green Arrow/Oliver Queen who was portrayed by Hartley. Instead, they opted to cast a new actor in the titular role. Amell, who was already in shape from Rent-a-Goalie, did physical fitness training at Tempest Freerunning Academy out of Reseda, California. He received archery training as well, which included watching a video on how archery has been displayed inaccurately or poorly in television and film before learning the basics of shooting a bow. For Amell, the appeal of portraying Queen was that he saw multiple roles tied to the same character: "There's Queen the casual playboy; Queen the wounded hero; Queen the brooding Hamlet; Queen the lover; Queen the man of action, and so on."
The realistic approach to the series included the costume design for Oliver's vigilante persona, created by Colleen Atwood. According to Amell, it was important for the suit to be functional, and the best way that he knew for that was if he could put the costume on by himself: "If I can put it on by myself, I think that people will buy it. And that was our idea. That's our world. My boots are actually Nike Frees, which is kind of cool. It's leather and it's tight and it's aggressive, but I can move in it. People will like it." David Nutter, the director of the pilot episode, said that "We're creating a real, believable world in which Oliver Queen can do incredible things. Colleen Atwood's great work on the Arrow costume reflects that effort."
Production on the pilot began in March 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The series features two distinct timelines, which requires more specific planning in the filming schedule. Filming for the island flashbacks takes place in Vancouver's Whytecliff Park area, near beachfront homes. The production team is tasked with keeping the buildings out of camera frame. Additionally, producer Marc Guggenheim finds the process arduous: "Stephen [Amell] has to wear a wig, and his look has to be changed... there's a lot. It's actually incredibly ambitious to do these flashbacks every week, every single episode. Because like Andrew [Kreisberg] said, it's almost like it's its own show." Hatley Castle, located in Royal Roads University was used for exterior shots for the Queen family mansion. Hatley Castle had previously been used as the Luthor ancestral home in Smallville. Vancouver's Terminal City Ironworks Complex doubles as the exterior for Queen Industrial, Inc, in which Oliver sets up his hideout and later his club Verdant. It has also been used on several other occasions, such as the warehouse in which Oliver and Tommy are kidnapped in the pilot episode, or the base of operations for the Chinese Triad in episode 108 "Vendetta".
The first season received favorable reviews, with a Metacritic score of 73 out of 100, based on reviews from 25 critics, making it the highest rated CW show in five years. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes calculated an approval rating of 85%, based on 36 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "The CW nails the target with Arrow, a comic book-inspired series that benefits from cinematic action sequences, strong plotting, and intriguing characters."
Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times called the series an interesting setup with a quality look, describing Amell as "a poster boy (no doubt literally) for the Katniss Everdeen set." Brian Lowry at Variety described the series as a "handsome but stiff surrogate for Batman that could benefit from sharper execution." In reviewing the final episode of the first season, Alasdair Wilkins of The A.V. Club gave the season as a whole a rating of B+, noting that the show "hasn't quite figured everything out yet, but it's had some standout episodes." 041b061a72