‘The Winchesters’: Inside Tom Welling’s Debut as ‘Complicated’ Samuel Campbell

Tom Welling in 'The Winchesters'
Preview
Skip Bolen/The CW

The Supernatural spinoff’s Scooby gang is about to score a huge win: Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly) finally finds her missing monster-slaying dad Samuel (Tom Welling) in the December 5 midseason finale of The Winchesters. (Season 1’s six remaining episodes air in 2023.)

But first, she and the other hunters have to destroy the arachnoid alien creatures known as the Akrida, along with their possessed leader, radio host Rockin’ Roxy (Bridget Regan), who has been using her show to lure rare beasts to Lawrence, Kansas.

The good news: The group has a solid lead and is riding the broadcast waves straight to Roxy — as is Samuel. Tracking down Samuel, of course, is “really going to complicate things,” says executive producer Robbie Thompson, for both Mary and her hunter-in-training love interest John Winchester (Drake Rodger).

Drake Rodger and Meg Donnelly in 'The Winchesters'

Skip Bolen/The CW

Mary has vowed to quit hunting if her dad is found…and possibly leave Lawrence altogether. John too is about to experience a surprise family reunion.

In the tearjerker hour, directed by SPN vet Richard Speight Jr. (who brings back his trickster god Loki next year in Episode 8), Gil McKinney reprises his Supernatural role as Henry Winchester, John’s dead dad, for what Thompson calls a “really incredible father-son [scene]. It’s one of those moments that only a show in the Supernatural universe can find a way to make happen.”

The Supernatural alums behind Winchesters, Jensen Ackles and wife/co-executive producer Danneel Ackles, are the ones who made Welling’s casting happen.

“When we were discussing casting the iconic character of Samuel Campbell, everyone felt it had to be someone who could step into the role and provide instant gravitas and history,” Thompson said in a statement when the casting was announced at New York Comic Con. “Jensen and Danneel brought up the idea of Tom Welling, and the second his name was mentioned, we all knew he was the perfect person for the part. Tom is a fantastic actor and wonderful human, and we are so excited to be welcoming him to The Winchesters and the Supernatural Family.”

As The CW teased in October, Samuel is a gruff and pragmatic veteran Hunter who prefers actions over words — and it’s always his way or the highway. But when the dad teams up with Mary and her friends to save the world, he won’t only have to defeat the most dangerous monster he’s ever faced — he’ll also have to mend his broken relationship with his daughter.

After the nail-biter Winchesters midseason finale premieres, fans can expect The CW drama to return on Tuesday, January 24th at an all-new time. The Winchesters moves to 9 p.m. ET from its 8 p.m. time slot on the network. The midseason premiere will be preceded by an encore showing of an episode from Season 1.

The Winchesters, Midseason Finale, Tuesday, December 5, 8/7c, The CW