When Calls the Heart
|When Calls the Heart|
|Based on||When Calls the Heart
by Janette Oke
|Developed by||Michael Landon Jr.|
|Country of origin||
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||39 (list of episodes)|
|Location(s)||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Running time||42–84 minutes|
|Original release||January 11, 2014– present|
When Calls the Heart is a Canadian-American television drama series, inspired by Janette Oke's book of the same name from her Canadian West series, and developed by Michael Landon Jr. The series began airing on the Hallmark Channel in the United States on January 11, 2014, and on April 16, 2014 on Super Channel in Canada.
The series originally debuted as a two-hour television movie pilot in October 2013, starring Maggie Grace as young teacher Elizabeth Thatcher and Stephen Amell as North West Mounted Police officer Wynn Delaney. In the television series Erin Krakow is cast as her niece, whose name is also Elizabeth Thatcher (played by Poppy Drayton in the movie), and Daniel Lissing plays a Mountie named Jack Thornton, with Lori Loughlin reprising her role as coal mine widow Abigail Stanton.
On April 24, 2017, Krakow announced via the Hallmark Channel website that the show would return for a fifth season in February 2018. The season will premiere with a 2-hour Christmas special, to be broadcast as part of Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas season, and continue for a 10-episode season, beginning in February 2018.
When Calls the Heart tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high-society life. She receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal-mining town in Western Canada which is located just south of Robb, Alberta. There, life is simple—but often fraught with challenges. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Royal North West Mounted Police Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing). He believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman's career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. The town of Coal Valley was renamed Hope Valley in Episode 2, Season 2 after the coal mine was closed.
Living in this 1910 coal town, Elizabeth must learn the ways of the Canadian frontier movement if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own. Lori Loughlin portrays Abigail Stanton, whose husband, the foreman of the mine, and her only son—along with 44 other miners—have recently been killed in an explosion, which turns out to have been a tragic accident waiting to happen—a result of the mining-company site manager's irresponsible management and lack of due care in his management of the mine. The newly widowed women find their faith tested when they must go to work in the mine to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, and compile a wage for the town's teacher.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||12||January 11, 2014||March 29, 2014|
|2||7||April 25, 2015||June 13, 2015|
|Special||December 26, 2015|
|3||8||February 21, 2016||April 10, 2016|
|Special||December 25, 2016|
|4||10||February 19, 2017||April 23, 2017|
|Special||December 25, 2017|
As of April 23, 2017, 39 episodes of When Calls the Heart have aired, concluding the fourth season.
The series, originally planned to be filmed in Colorado, is filmed south of Vancouver, British Columbia, on a farm surrounded by vineyards. The fictional frontier town of Coal Valley was erected in late 2013. Some of the set trimmings and a stage coach came from the Hell on Wheels set. The Thatcher home is the University Women's Club of Vancouver.
The series was renewed for a second season, which aired from April 25 to June 13, 2015. Hallmark Channel announced in July 2015 that the series had been renewed for a third season, which aired from February 21 to April 10, 2016, with a sneak peek airing during the 2015 Christmas season.
In mid-2016, it was announced that Season 4 would premier on the Hallmark Channel Christmas Day with a two-hour special. On April 11, 2016, Lissing and Krakow announced via the series' Facebook page that Hallmark Channel had renewed the series for a fourth season, which aired from February 19 to April 23, 2017.
Filming for season five began in Vancouver on August 22, 2017, and is due to continue until December 12, 2017.
- Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thatcher
- Daniel Lissing as Jack Thornton
- Lori Loughlin as Abigail Stanton
- Jack Wagner as Bill Avery
- Martin Cummins as Henry Gowen
- Pascale Hutton as Rosemary LeVeaux-Coulter
- Kavan Smith as Leland Coulter
- Gracyn Shinyei as Emily Montgomery
- Loretta Walsh as Florence Blakeley
- Erica Carroll as Dottie Ramsey
- Mark Humphrey as Frank Hogan
- Johannah Newmarch as Molly Sullivan
- Mitchell Kummen as Gabe Montgomery
- Logan Williams as Miles Montgomery
- Ben Rosenbaum as Hickam
- Carter Ryan Evancic as Cody Hastings
- Chelah Horsdal as Cat Montgomery
- Steve Bacic as Charles Spurlock
- Kristina Wagner as Nora Avery
- Aren Buchholz as Jesse
- Charlotte Hegele as Julie Thatcher
- Andrea Brooks as Faith Carter
- Eva Bourne as Clara Stanton
- Ava Grace Cooper as Opal
- Max Lloyd-Jones as Tom Thornton
- Brooke Shields as Charlotte Thornton
- Devon Weigel as Viola Thatcher
- Marcus Rosner as Charles Kensington
- Mamie Laverock as Rosaleen Sullivan
- Adrian Hough as Reverend Anderson
- Lynda Boyd as Grace Thatcher
- Will Verchere-Gopaulsingh as Caleb Dunbar
- Ali Skovbye as Becky Hastings
- Garwin Sanford as William Thatcher
- Laura Bertram as Mary Dunbar
- Derek Hamilton as Dewitt Graves
- Niall Matter as Shane Cantrell (season 4)
- Spencer Drever as Cyrus Rivera (season 4)
- Elizabeth Thatcher is an independent, strong-minded, passionate and dedicated young teacher from the city. The middle daughter of William and Grace Thatcher, Elizabeth has two sisters, older sister Viola and younger sister Julie. Elizabeth finds herself in Coal Valley, a small community on the Canadian frontier in need of a teacher, and quickly discovers it is not an easy place to live, lacking the creature comforts and luxuries of her privileged life with her family. She soon meets the newly appointed and charismatic Mountie Jack Thornton and develops an immediate dislike for him. However, over time they become good friends, and develop an obvious attraction to one another. In the final episode of season 1, "Prelude to a Kiss," (also titled as "Final Adieu"), after overcoming many obstacles throughout the season, Jack tells Elizabeth, "You're the one, you're the only one" and they share a kiss. Throughout season 2, Elizabeth's feelings for Jack are high at times as well as low. Finally, in the season 2 finale, she admits that his job as a Mountie scares her. After being comforted both admitting that they love each other, Jack and Elizabeth kiss.
- Jack Thornton is a laid back country boy. Jack is the son of Mountie Thomas Thornton and his wife Charlotte Thornton. Jack has a younger brother, Tom (named after his father). As a Mountie and a man of stout character and integrity, he often finds himself protecting and saving people. In season 1's "A Telling Silence," Jack finds a basset hound whom he names Rip (after Rip Van Winkle) and takes home with him. A source of comfort and companion in the small town, Jack often goes to Rip when times in his life are difficult. In season 2's "With All My Heart," Rip, who's afraid of thunder, hides in the mine shafts during a storm. Jack and Elizabeth search for him; in their search, their relationship grows stronger. Upon his first meeting of Elizabeth, he developed an instant dislike and it appeared she irritated him. However, he grew to like and then fall madly and completely in love with her over time. In "Rules of Engagement" (S.1), it is revealed that Jack was briefly engaged to Rosemary LeVeaux when she comes looking for him. However, they have both changed and realize that they cannot have a relationship as they once did ever again. In "Prelude to a Kiss" (S.1), Jack found out that Elizabeth may be leaving Coal Valley. Taking her on a walk and giving her a framed picture of them that he had sketched, he asks her not to leave Coal Valley and tells her, "You're the one, you're the only one." She replied that she was "not going anywhere", Coal Valley was where she belonged before they share a kiss. In season 2, Elizabeth and Jack share a hot-and-cold relationship until the finale, "With All My Heart." They both admit that they love each other and share another kiss. Jack's brother, Tom, is introduced season 2's "Trials of the Heart," and their rocky relationship continues until "Coming Together, Coming Apart." Jack gently reminds his younger brother how their father was so proud of him, but he wouldn't be proud of the way he was currently living. Both in tears, Jack tells his younger brother that he believes in him and that he can turn his life around. More recently, Jack has become good friends with the sawmill operator, Lee Coulter. In season 3, Jack begins the new year knowing that Elizabeth only has eyes for him and that her relationship with Charles is over for good. In "Hearts In Question," Jack's mother Charlotte shows up unexpectedly. She meets Elizabeth and is suspicious of her, but through staying her sees Elizabeth for who she really is: a trustworthy, dedicated teacher. In the season finale, "Prayers From The Heart," Jack is injured in a landslide. But he miraculously recovers in time to serve as Lee's best man at his wedding.
- Abigail Stanton is a Coal Valley woman who tragically lost her husband and son in the mining accident. Abigail is a very kind woman, and she stands strongly for the things she believes in. She is one of the first women to welcome Elizabeth and the two women quickly become friends. When Elizabeth accidentally burns down the little teacherage, Abigail gladly welcomes her into her home to live. After being complimented on her cooking, Abigail decides to open a cafe in Coal Valley. Together, Abigail and Elizabeth move into the rooms above the cafe. At the end of season 1, Abigail enjoys the company of Bill Avery, a Mountie, serving as a Forensic Investigator and friend of Jack Thornton's. In season 2, Abigail takes in her daughter-in-law, Clara, the wife of her late son Peter whom Abigail sees as the daughter she never had. With Bill's past being revealed, Abigail ends their friendship and spends more time with the new pastor, Frank Hogan. Also, she is a strong independent woman that is set on doing the things that are right and tries to help Elizabeth.
- Bill Avery is a mysterious, quiet man. He first appears in season 1's "Rules of Engagement," in order to help Jack expose Mr. Gowen's wrongdoings. Bill is immediately attracted to widow Abigail Stanton. Things are going well until Abigail discovers a picture of Bill's family and his wedding ring. He later tells her that his son died, as well as his wife. However, his wife, Nora, comes to confront him in season 2's "Heart's Desire."
- Henry Gowen is a cold, cynical man who formerly owned the coal mine. After the mine was shut down, Henry became the mayor of Hope Valley and still creates a cold, cynical presence whenever people are around him. Henry is highly disliked and feared in the town. He frequently uses bribery to get what he wants, which is never for the good of the town.
- Rosemary "Rosie" LeVeaux is a flamboyant, enthusiastic actress from New York. She was briefly engaged to Jack Thornton, but they both realized that it wouldn't work out. Rosie immediately disliked Elizabeth and viewed her as "the competition," but eventually came to really care about Elizabeth, even if she has a hard time showing it. At the beginning of season 2, Rosemary began working at the cafe with Abigail and the two quickly became friends. Spending time with Abigail helped tone down some of Rosemary's enthusiasm and made her a more likable person. Rosemary even came to like Elizabeth, even if only on an acquaintance level. Truthfully, she cares about everyone in Hope Valley, especially Lee, with whom she shares an mutual attraction. When Rosie is not spending time with Lee, talking to Abigail, or dreaming about the glamorous life of an actress, she can often be found somewhere writing her weekly advice column for Hope Valley's newspaper! In season 3, Rosemary's friendship with Elizabeth deepened. Instead of viewing her as an adversary, she finds a friend in Elizabeth. Throughout season 3, Rosemary's relationship with Lee becomes more romantic. In "Heart Of A Hero," seeing that Lee needs to spend more time at the sawmill to help the new settlers find jobs, Rosemary tells Lee that the theatre doesn't have to be built. He insists, but she says how important his job is. He smiles and tells her he will one day build her theatre, telling her that she is "the best part of his life." The couple shares in their first kiss. In "A Gentle Heart," Lee is injured. Thinking he is asleep, Rosemary pours out her heart to him, telling how much she loves him. In "Heartbreak," Rosemary is offered a job in Hollywood filming. This has always been Rosemary's dream, to be an actress. Lee unselfishly tells her to do whatever she feels best, but it is obvious that the thought of her leaving Hope Valley hurts him. Rosemary considers her options and realizes that her place is in Hope Valley, with Lee. Lee then tells her that he has another "role" that he thinks would be perfect for her and proposes marriage. She happily accepts. In "Hearts In Question," Rosemary enthusiastically plans for their wedding. The couple weds in the season 3 finale "Prayers From The Heart," with Elizabeth and Abigail as her maids of honor.
- Leland "Lee" Coulter is a kind, laidback, patient man who opens a sawmill in Hope Valley. When timber becomes Coal Valley's major source of natural resources, the town is renamed Hope Valley. He shares a mutual attraction to Rosemary and proves to be one of the few people who can outwit her. When she declines his romantic intentions, Lee recruits his friend, Molly Sullivan, to make Rosemary jealous; the ploy succeeds and Rosemary accepts his suit, appreciating Lee's good qualities. Despite her dramatic and occasionally prickly personality, Lee's compassion and patience never fails with her. With Rosemary's help, Lee beat Mr. Gowen at his own game in "Heart and Home." When not at work, Lee enjoys being with friends, including Jack Thornton, who shares Lee's simple and laidback outlook, allowing the men to discuss their lives and exchange romantic advice. In season 3, Lee's mill is unfortunately sabotaged by a man inside. Through Bill and Jack's investigation, they find the culprit. In season 3's "Heart Of A Hero," Rosemary unselfishly gives up the theatre that Lee promised to build her. Lee promises that one day, he will build her the theatre at a time when he isn't so involved with the sawmill and finding people jobs. In "A Gentle Heart," Lee is injured. Thinking Lee is asleep, Rosemary pours out her heart to Lee, telling him how afraid she was when she heard he had been injured. He however hears each and every word. She told him how much she loves him and to never leave her. In the episode "Heartbreak," Lee thinks Rosemary may leave Hope Valley when she is offered a movie job in Hollywood. When she gives up the movie, seeing her future in Hope Valley with him, he asks her to marry him. The couple weds in the season 3 finale, "Prayers From The Heart." Jack serves the role of Lee's best man.
- Julie Thatcher is Elizabeth's hopeless romantic younger sister. She often gets herself into sticky situations by falling head over heels for men who aren't quite what they seem. In season 2 she gets involved with Jack's brother Tom, which causes trouble with her family and for Jack and Elizabeth's relationship.
- Cat Montgomery is a kind, encouraging woman in Coal Valley. She is a widow and mother of three: Gabe, Miles, and Emily. Cat was one of the first mothers to show kindness to Elizabeth when she first came. She desperately wants her children to remember the good memories of their father as seen by her self-sacrificing acts in "Secrets and Lies." Possessing a great sense of teamwork and encouragement, Cat supports the women of Coal Valley while working in the mines in "Cease and Desist." She is good friends with Elizabeth and Abigail. In "These Games," she also helps Jack catch a thief.
- Florence Blakeley is a feisty gossip in Hope Valley. She often has a pessimistic perspective and always seems to find the negative, even in a very positive situation. In "Heart and Home," Abigail told Florence what she really thought about her, which causes Florence to rein in her negativity somewhat, though she remains fairly outspoken. While not always likable, Florence adds spice to life in Hope Valley.
- Molly Sullivan is a friend of Lee Coulter and Elizabeth Thatcher. Molly's husband was killed in the mine disaster. She has a daughter Rosaleen. In season 1's "A Telling Silence," Rosaleen has trouble in school because she misses her father so much. When she runs away, Elizabeth finds her in the mine, feeling guilty that she didn't bring her father his lunch the day of the disaster because she wanted to play with a friend instead. She fears her mother will blame her, but Elizabeth convinces her that Molly will "say that she loves her more than life itself." Molly is reunited with her daughter, to the joy of the town's people. In season 2's "With All My Heart," Lee feels it's time to "play hard to get" with Rosemary, so he enlists help from Molly. She pretends to be interested in him romantically. This ploy works and Rosemary admits that she does in fact like him. Molly is a kind woman and was among the first to welcome Elizabeth to town.
- Clara Stanton is the wife of Abigail's late son Peter, and is a sweet, quiet, and sensitive young woman. Abigail never knew she had a daughter-in-law until season 2's "Trials of the Heart;" with Peter having married Clara only three days before he was killed. In "Heart's Desire," Abigail invites Clara to come live with her in Hope Valley, an offer that Clara accepts.
- Charles Kensington III is an old friend of Elizabeth with whom she reconnects while in Hamilton. He is interested in her, though her feelings for Jack get in the way of their relationship.
The first season of the series was subsequently picked up by CBC Television for rebroadcast as a summer series in 2015. The network has since aired the second and third seasons. The series became available internationally on Netflix in August 2017.
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