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He's back! First look at 'Smallville's Tom Welling in The CW's 'Supernatural' prequel 'The Winchesters'

The Smallville star is back on The CW playing a major character in Winchester history.

By Matthew Jackson
Tom Welling as Samuel Campbell in The Winchesters Season 1 Episode 7

One of the great appeals of The Winchesters is seeing exactly how the Supernatural prequel series expands on a universe that The CW kept running for a gobsmacking 15 seasons and more than 300 episodes. It's a show that has to grow the lore in its own way, but it's also a show that has to satisfy longtime fans by giving us past incarnations of familiar faces. Next week, we'll meet one of those familiar faces in the form of a CW icon.

The network announced back at New York Comic Con earlier this year that Smallville star Tom Welling would be joining the prequel series -- which follows the monster-hunting adventures of Sam and Dean Winchester's eventual parents, Mary (Meg Donnelly) and John (Drake Rodger) -- as Samuel Campbell, Mary's father and Sam and Dean's eventual grandfather. The role was played in the original series by Mitch Pileggi, but obviously the 1970s-set Winchesters needed a younger face, and Welling landed the gig. Now, he's just days away from making his debut on the show, and The CW has released the first-look photo above to celebrate. 

Next week's episode of The Winchesters is titled "Reflections." Here's the official synopsis from the CW press site:

"The Hunt heats up and Mary (Meg Donnelly) and John (Drake Rodger) find trails that lead back to their fathers.  Carlos (JoJo Fleites) helps Mary investigate where the Akrida might be hiding but they discover more than they bargained for.  Meanwhile, Millie (Bianca Kajlich) steps in to help Latika (Nida Kurshid), Ada (Demetria McKinney), and John to decipher notes left behind and they stumble upon a way to get some answers."

Developed by Robbie Thompson and executive produced by Supernatural star Jensen Ackles, who also narrates the series, The Winchesters hopes to delve deeper into the world of monsters and madness that Supernatural explored very thoroughly across its long CW run, but with plenty of new twists and turns along the way. So far the show has done a solid job of giving fans a new spin on their Supernatural fix, but the future of the series remains uncertain. Earlier this year, the CW declined to extend the show's first season order beyond the original 13-episode pick-up, which makes fans wonder if the show will be back for a second season. For now, though, we get Welling as a guest star, and more monster-hunting adventures to close out Season 1.

The Winchesters airs Tuesdays on The CW, and streams free the next day on the CW App. 

The Smallville nostalgia have you looking for more teen superhero action? Check out the full run of Heroes streaming now on Peacock.