Arrow FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The CW’s New TV Series Arrow FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The CW’s New TV Series
Answers to frequently asked questions about The CW's Arrow Arrow FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The CW’s New TV Series

The new television series Arrow is premiering on The CW very soon, on October 10. If you’re at this website, you’ve probably heard of it before. However, going in, you might have some questions, or you might know someone who does. Here are some answers; and if there’s more you’d like to know, leave questions in the comments section below.

What is Arrow?

Arrow is a television series based on the Green Arrow comics from DC Comics. The character was first created by Mort Wiesinger and George Papp back in 1941 with More Fun Comics #73.

To be fair, in many early stories Green Arrow was more like a mixture of Robin Hood an Batman. He had the arrows, but he also had an Arrowcave, an Arrowcar, and and Arrowplane. Like Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen was very wealthy, and even had a young sidekick, Roy Harper, who went by the name of “Speedy” much like Dick Grayson as Robin.

In 1969, the character was massively redesigned by artist Neal Adams, and with artist Denny O’Neil, the character lost his fortunes and became more of a “hero of the people.” It was around this time that Green Arrow became co-headliner in the socially relevant Green Lantern/Green Arrow comic book series. Green Arrow didn’t get a comic book title of his own until a miniseries in the late 1980’s; his longest running ongoing comic series, initially by Mike Grell, came in 1988.

Green Arrow has appeared in multiple forms of media including but not limited to Super Friends, Justice League Unlimited, Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Young Justice, and Smallville.

For the TV series Arrow, much time is spent exploring the effects that being away on an island affects Oliver Queen, and we see what happens when he comes back and works to rid his home city from injustice. All of his personal relationships before he was thought dead are greatly changed upon his return.

Okay. But how does The CW describe it?

“After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.”

Who’s in it?

The series stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Colin Donnell as Tommy, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance. Also recurring in the series are Colin Salmon as Walter Steele, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Jessica de Gouw as Helena Bertinelli, Annie Ilonzeh as Joanna de la Vega, and John Barrowman as ???

Who’s producing it?

Greg Berlanti is the uber-producer who gave us the TV series Brothers & Sisters, No Ordinary Family and Eli Stone and the movie Green Lantern. His writing is also the reason that, to this day, I still say “Meanwhile” when someone attractive goes by. Marc Guggenheim comes to us from such TV series as FlashForward and Eli Stone, but you might also know him from his comics work which includes The Amazing Spider-Man, Justice Society Of America, and Young X-Men. Andrew Kreisberg also comes to us with comic book experience, with credits including Batman Confidential and Green Arrow/Black Canary. On TV, Kreisberg’s writing credits include The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Warehouse 13, and Justice League Unlimited.

The pilot is directed by David Nutter, who directed several other pilots that you may have heard of, including Smallville, Supernatural, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Wait. A TV show about Green Arrow and Justin Hartley isn’t in it?!?! Where is Justin Hartley?

Justin Hartley played Oliver Queen/Green Arrow for five seasons on Smallville. He also has a new show, Emily Owens, M.D., which premieres on October 16, also on The CW. Arrow is going in a new direction and it would probably have been confusing to use the same actor as before. However, the show’s producers have gone on record to mention their huge respect for Justin and their desire to have him on the show. (Travis Morgan, the Warlord, right?) Andrew Kreisberg, specifically, has often pointed out that one’s love of Christian Bale’s Batman never would take away from one’s feelings about Adam West or Michael Keaton. This is the same deal. Smallville’s Green Arrow will always exist; this is just a new version of the character, not meant to ruin what has come before.

Who is Stephen Amell?

He’s the guy who shot Caroline on The Vampire Diaries. He also happens to be a talented actor whose credits include Private Practice and Hung. He worked his abs off for Arrow, and that hard work can be seen from the show’s poster.

Which cast or crew members are on Twitter?

On the producer side, we’ve got @GBerlanti (Greg Berlanti), @mguggenheim (Marc Guggenheim), and @AJKreisberg (Andrew Kreisberg). Writers @LanaJeany (Lana Cho) and @BenSokolowski (Ben Sokolowski) are also on. Episode 7 co-writer Geoff Johns is also on Twitter, as @GeoffJohns. If there are others we are missing, please leave comments… it’s not intentional.

For actors, there’s @amellywood (Stephen Amell), @MzKatieCassidy (Katie Cassidy), @colindonnell (Colin Donnell), @colinsalmon24 (Colin Salmon), @EmilyBett (Emily Bett Rickards) and @jessdegouw (Jessica de Gouw). We think Willa Holland is on Twitter, too, but there are so many that claim to be it, we don’t want to say the wrong thing. There’s a David Ramsey Twitter account as well, but we’re not sure if it’s the real deal.

John Barrowman (The Well-Dressed Man) and his web team seem to tweet as @Team_Barrowman, and he frequently does some Q and A’s there. Upcoming Arrow foes @KellyHu (Kelly Hu), @Captain_Rowe (Michael Rowe), and @Shahlavi (Darren Shahlavi) are also on Twitter.

Episode 3 “Lone Gunmen” director Guy Bee is on Twitter as @guynormanbee.

The Arrow stunt team is also an active part of Twitter. Fight choreographer James Bamford (@JamesBamford) was the first to sign up and interact with Arrow fans, and you can also find stunt coordinator JJ Makaro (@JJMakaro) there. Stephen Amell’s stunt double, Simon Burnett, is @BurnettSimon.

Our friend the “Lonely Vancouver PA” (@LonelyVancPA) might already be the biggest Arrow fan there is.

There is not an official CW Twitter account devoted solely to Arrow, even though some folks might like to trick you into believing there is. At this time, the only official CW account is @CW_network.

GreenArrowTV is on Twitter as @GreenArrowTV – you’ll give us a follow, right?

Who is John Barrowman playing?

A well dressed man.

Why is John Barrowman a big deal?

Watch any of his Doctor Who appearances or Torchwood, and you can find that answer.

Have you met John Barrowman?

No, and that makes me sad.

Why is it called “Starling City?”

That’s another one we need a sourced answer for. In other media, Green Arrow’s home has been Star City. In at least one version of the Arrow pilot script, there was a billboard that said “Starling City is a Star City,” but that didn’t make the final cut.

Why is Dinah Laurel Lance called “Laurel?”

We’ll have to try to get an answer for that one. It could be that TV has given us two live-action Dinahs already in the past ten years (Rachel Skarsten of Birds of Prey and Alaina Huffman of Smallville). Or, maybe it is to separate herself from her mother, who in the comics was named Dinah Drake Lance? We’ll have to see.

Since when did Oliver Queen have a sister?

Thea Queen is a new creation for Arrow, but once you see the dynamic that she adds to the mix, you’ll be cool with it. Same for the notion that, in this series, Oliver Queen’s mother is alive. Moira Queen is bound to surprise viewers.

Oliver calls Thea “Speedy” in the pilot. Might she become his sidekick?


Did Lionel Luthor have Oliver Queen’s parents killed?

No. That is a storyline that was just created for Smallville.

Is there still a Green Arrow/Arrow comic?

DC Comics publishes a monthly Green Arrow comic book series, but at least at the current time, it doesn’t really resemble Arrow the TV series. However, DC will be launching a digital-first Arrow comic book, based on the TV show with stories by the show’s creators, beginning October 10.

Are there any Green Arrow comics you recommend for Arrow fans?

Andy Diggle & Jock’s Green Arrow: Year One is a must-read. Mike Grell’s The Longbow Hunters looks at an older Oliver Queen and is also a fantastic story. If you’re into older comics and the notion of reading one of the most iconic stories in comics history, Green Lantern/Green Arrow is recommended.

What other DC Comics characters are showing up on Arrow?

The first eight episodes include China White, Deadshot, The Huntress, and even a glimpse at Deathstroke…. and that’s just a little bit of it. The show’s producers are embracing the DC Comics universe of characters here, although it seems they are limiting these characters to the ones without super powers.

So no Superman?

No Superman.

What about Batman?

Nothing’s been announced, but we as fans can hope, right?

Where is Arrow shot?

Most of Arrow is filmed in or near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The Queen mansion looks a lot like where Lex Luthor lived on Smallville. It also looks like the place where Professor Xavier lives in the X-Men movies. Why is that?

It’s the same place – Hatley Castle on Victoria.

What else can you tell me about upcoming episodes?

There’s an Arrow Spoilers Page for that, here at GreenArrowTV.

When does Arrow air?

In the United States, you can find it on Wednesdays at 8PM (ET) on The CW, right before Supernatural.

Pretty soon we’ll try to compile a list of international air dates.

Is the show good?


Who made this website?

That would be me, Craig Byrne. You might have read KryptonSite which was the place to go to for Smallville news for that show’s run. I also run KSiteTV, a general television news site. I’m also the author of Smallville: The Visual Guide, Smallville: The Official Companions for seasons 4 through 7, and a tie-in book for The Dark Knight. Hopefully the coverage at GreenArrowTV will be as thorough as what you’d see at KryptonSite. Look for reviews and an episode guide to come, from other authors, as the series begins.

Is there a good Arrow forum?

I hope so! There’s an Arrow forum set up to tie in to GreenArrowTV at our general TV show news site, KSiteTV. We’d love to have you!

Where else can I find GreenArrowTV online?

On Twitter @GreenArrowTV and on Facebook.

Craig Byrne

Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.