Arrow, based on the staple DC Comics character Green Arrow, is primed and ready for its third season on TV. The show will make its season debut on Wednesday, Oct. 8 on the CW network. Fans will see heavy dose of the old, splashes of the new, and ultimately, a quest for the answer to one of mankind’s oldest questions: “Who am I?”
“We spend every season hiatus—where I really should be laying on a beach somewhere—planning out the next whole season,” said Arrow Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim. “This one is about identity.”
The core cast will all be back: Oliver Queen is still the vigilante archer called Arrow, cleaning up Starling City aided and abetted by his protégé Roy Harper, tech expert-come-love interest Felicity Smoak, and confidant/occasional ass-kicker John Diggle.
A new face on the scene is Ray Palmer, played by Superman Returns movie actor Brandon Routh. Palmer is a hardcore scientist (as he also is as The Atom, DC’s shrinking superhero in the pages of the comics), but is seen much more as a wisecracking, corporate raider-type with his sights on Ollie’s company, Queen Consolidated. He’s also a breath of fresh air for the writing staff.
“He can play on Felicity’s level in terms of the banter,” Guggenheim said. “Ray is a joy to write for. His banter with Felicity is a lot of fun.”
Guggenheim, who also co-wrote the season debut episode, promises a large role for Palmer, though probably not one in spandex.
“Anything is possible, but my instinct is if he’s going to put on a costume and shrink down, he’s going to do that on another show,” Guggenheim said. “We really don’t do superpowers on Arrow. But we can bring the character to Flash to do superpowers.”
The CW debuts Flash, starring Grant Gusitn as DC’s speedster hero, on Oct. 7, one day ahead of the new Arrow. The Flash is seen briefly—as is appropriate—in the Arrow season debut, and a crossover episode between the two series is planned for later in the year.
The popular Canary character (Black Canary in the comics) also appears in the season debut, and Roy Harper is seen a lot more. “Roy is big in costume,” Guggenheim said. “We made a big deal about Roy joining the team last season…and didn’t do much with it because of the stories we were telling.” Guggenheim promises that episode 6 will be a very Roy-centric episode this season.
The season debut ends with a series of shockers that will certainly grab fans by the throat, or perhaps the heartstrings. Cliffhangers are the order of the day. “We had this idea of starting the year off in a way we typically end a year,” Guggenheim said. “We’ll see if you’re thumbs-up or thumbs-down.”
But the central theme of the year will definitely be identity, and feature a battle of Oliver Queen versus…himself. Queen’s status quo has changed, as he’s no longer the head of his own company, and his relationships with even his closest friends have changed. He’ll have to decide if it’s better to continue his life as Oliver Queen, or as Arrow.
“That’s the big question of the series,” Guggenheim said. “This is his season-long journey. Is there an Oliver Queen anymore?”
—Arrow season 3 debuts on the CW Network on Wednesday, October 8.