How NCIS Star Sean Murray Felt About McGee Finally Getting a Backstory Episode


Right on the heels of a surprising reveal involving Ziva David, NCIS is giving longtime fans something else to appreciate. Tim McGee is getting an episode that explores his backstory, and actor Sean Murray was kind enough to chat with CinemaBlend about "Once Upon A Tim." Here, he shared how it felt to finally get an flashback episode like this in the books.

When I heard about the episode coming, and the storyline, I was thrilled. I love to see and learn more about McGee, and to know that we are going to see a young McGee and visit his old high school and that sort of stuff was thrilling. . . . I love when we explore things [and] the pasts of our characters you know?

"Once Upon A Tim" will put McGee in the crosshairs when a unique password he used in high school is connected to the murder of a Department of Defense contractor. When an intruder attempts to break into McGee's house and steal his old computer, the NCIS character is forced to physically and mentally revisit his old high school day to look for some answers for what's happening.

It's a rare chance to peek behind NCIS' curtain to see the life of these beloved characters long before they joined Team Gibbs, and Sean Murray was thrilled to be a featured part of the process. Murray explained the backstory arc actually came to be as a pun that got spun into something much larger and more meaningful.

We're always looking to see more of the past, and I think it was just a great idea. I think it started with the title actually: 'Once Upon A Tim.' And our writers just went from there and had ideas. I love the script and I had a blast doing it.

As Tim heads back to high school, NCIS will also go back to the past with scenes featuring a young McGee. Sean Murray wasn't a part of the casting, but he was impressed with how similar actor Charles Tyler Kinder looked as a teenaged McGee. To help the portrayal even further, Murray said the younger actor was sent tapes of the NCIS agent in action so that he could get all the character's mannerisms down pat.

When it came to personal guidance on how to play McGee, Sean Murray said he let Charles Tyler Kinder do his thing without much additional advice. As Murray explained below, he felt the hands off approach was right for this instance.

I thought for me as an actor, I didn't want him too bent out of shape about not being able to copy mannerisms and things like that. You kind of want him to bring his own thing into it. You want any actor to do that.

NCIS airs on CBS every Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. ET., with McGee's ep airing on February 19. Use CinemaBlend to stay on top of all things television related, and use our handy midseason premiere guide to see what's arriving on the platform in the coming weeks.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.