Hallmark Channel Movie Preview: When Calls the Heart [VIDEO and PHOTOS]
Hallmark Channel goes two weekends in a row with backdoor pilots, although this one was greenlit first. When Calls the Heart revisits Little House on the Prairie territory, and with good reason. It’s shepherded by Michael Landon, Jr., who wrote and directed the film based on Janette Oke‘s novel.
Oke has had a fantastic run at Hallmark with several movies based on her Love Comes Softly series, which Landon Jr. also had a hand in bringing to the network. The two-hour filmÂ premieres tomorrow night on Hallmark Channel, and the series, which launches in January, is currently in production in British Columbia.
The movie has a past and present blend as Elizabeth Thatcher, a young woman of privilege in the early 20th century, has the opportunity to go West and teach that is thwarted by her family until she’s emboldened by the journal of her aunt, also Elizabeth, who made the same trek several years earlier. As their stories overlap, we see past influence present. It’s a sweet story, and a great movie for family night.
Maggie Grace anchors the journal’s story as the elder Elizabeth with Arrow‘s Stephen Amell as Wynn Delaney, a local man whose advances she initially misunderstands. The latter story is driven by Poppy Drayton as the younger Elizabeth, and her love interest is a young Mountie played by Teen Wolf‘s Daniel Sharman.
Hallmark has been a little confusing with the press on this one. To clarify, the younger Elizabeth will be the focal point of the series coming in January, but she will be played by Erin Krakow. The series will also co-star Lori Loughlin and Chelah Horsdal. (The arc involving the elder Elizabeth and Wynn concludes in the movie.)
Here’s the formal movie synopsis: A high society woman receives a teaching assignment in a dangerous western territory, far from the comfort of home and her tight-knit family. Wanting to prove she can handle the job, she finds inspiration and hope in her late aunt’s secret diary, detailing her own trials as a schoolteacher in the frontier and puts her trust in a handsome Canadian Mountie.
And here’s a sneak peek. When Calls the Heart premieres tomorrow night at 9/8c on Hallmark Channel and repeats throughout the month.
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