Thursday, October 17, 2013

When Calls The Heart - New Hallmark Series!

Janette Oke's When Calls The Heart airs Saturday night!!!!!

So there's been a lot of info circulating about the new Hallmark movie When Calls The Heart (aka Heart). I had heard they had changed the main actress mid-filming but the new trailers and behind the scenes clips feature both a blond haired actress and brown haired actress.


There isn't any information about this on the official Hallmark page, in fact all the Preview and Behind The Scenes interviews there are with the dark haired actress (Poppy Drayton) and the younger dark haired Mountie (Daniel Sharman). Then I found this trailer on YouTube that made the storyline make a bit more sense!

So it looks like the story will mostly center on the dark haired Elizabeth with flashbacks of her aunt who is the blond haired Elizabeth. The only problem with this is that the blond haired Elizabeth Thatcher and her guy Wynn Delaney are the main characters from Janette Oke's original stories (at least the first book, I haven't read the other three and don't remember a niece being mentioned).

Then I'd seen the preview on the Hallmark Channel and it mentioned about Heart is going to be "an original series" - what? it's going to be a TV series???

There isn't any information about this on the official Hallmark page but I did find this article that helps a bit:

"Hallmark Channel said today it is boosting its original programming efforts, adding another scripted series to its schedule and two pilots to its development slate. The network unveiled during parent Crown Media’s upfront presentation in NY that it has greenlighted 10 episodes of When Calls The Heart, based on the book series by Janette Oke. The movie pilot is set to premiere October 5 and the series will debut in January 2014. It joins Hallmark’s first original scripted series, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, the Andie MacDowell-starrer that premieres July 20 as a two-hour movie, followed by new one-hour episodes on Saturdays beginning July 27. Set in the Western frontier, Heart centers on young teacher Elizabeth Thatcher (Poppy Drayton) who trades high society life for a classroom post in the prairie, determined to prove she is brave enough to live on her own. She learns through her aunt’s secret diary that she had been a pioneer woman herself, and uses it as a guide to embark on her own adventures." - quoted from Deadline Hollywood article

 So the movie airing this coming Saturday night is a two-hour pilot for an original series based on Janette Oke's books that will start in with one hour episodes starting in January! I also remember reading somewhere that there will be 12 episodes in all (not sure if this includes the pilot or not). Hallmark's Cedar Cove series aired a new episode each weekend and just finished up (I watched one or two and didn't like the modern story very much, it got very soap opera-ish). It's hard to tell right now whether the When Calls The Heart TV series will have more flashbacks of Aunt Elizabeth (Janette Oke's character) or if it will focus completely on the dark haired Elizabeth's new life as a teacher. 

There's always got to be those bigger name actors in a Hallmark movie and besides Maggie Grace (who will play Aunt Elizabeth), the movie/TV series will star actresses Lori Loughlin (of Full House fame) and Jean Smart (who I mostly remember with a Southern accent from the few episodes I've seen of Designing Women). These actresses seem to enjoy the period costumes and fit into the time period fairly well. Their characters sound like antagonist for the young Elizabeth character. Actor Stephen Amell who plays Aunt Elizabeth's Mountie beau Wynn Delaney also seems to be a fairly popular actor.

Also in a highly interesting discovery the two British actors who play young Elizabeth's parents are period drama actors!!! Cherie Lunghi who plays Mrs. Thatcher has starred in The Buccaneers, David Copperfield (1999) and Horatio Hornblower, while Mr. Thatcher is played by Christopher Villiers who I loved as Tom Bertram in Mansfield Park (1983) and who Leaguettes will recognize as Lord Anthony Dewhurst in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)! Main stars Poppy Drayton and David Sharman are also British born actors dropping their accents for their roles. 

So what are your thoughts on the flashback type storyline?

Do you like that this has graduated from a TV movie to a TV series?

Have you read Janette Oke's When Calls The Heart and the other books in that series?

Will you watch this when it airs?

P.S. Not sure yet if I'll get to watch this right when it airs but my aunt is as big a Janette Oke fan as I am, so there's a strong possibility that if we're able to we will! If not I'm sure there will be re-runs on Hallmark that I'll be able to catch! Yipee! Writing this post does make me want to borrow all four books in this series from my aunt's church's library and devour them...then move on to the complete Love Comes Softly book series! ;)


Natalie said...

I've been looking forward to seeing this, as I love the When Calls the Heart books, but I'm disappointed to hear it'll be flashbacks of Wynn and Elizabeth! I was hoping the movie/tv series would follow the storyline of the books, not a whole different story altogether! :(

Melody said...

A TV series, eh? Sounds like they might be copying the idea of Christy a little. Haha. I mean, a pilot movie and then a series based off a historical fiction book about a teacher moving from the city to teach. But hey, I liked Christy. ;)

And that makes it so interesting that there are British actors in here! And Tom Bertram? Reeeeally? Now that is cool.

Be sure to let me know if you get to watch it when it airs! :D

Analiese said...

Sounds delightful - I love the books. But it's too bad it's just flashbacks of Wynn and Elizabeth...I do like them so. :( Anyways, I hope you'll post reviews and let us know what you think!

Hamlette said...

I need to let my mom know about this! She gets the Hallmark Channel, and I know she'd love this. I remember her reading this Oke series aloud to us in the car on vacation one year -- it remains my favorite Oke series, partly because of that, I suppose.

Blessings! said...

I didn't know about this. Thank you for sharing! I really enjoy Janette Oke books and the movies are not bad. *smile* Have a great day and thanks for sharing this with all of us. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

Shannon said...

I've only read the first four books (I think there are six), but they were absolutely *amazing*! Some of my favorite books ever! :-) I will definitely be watching this when it airs!

Anonymous said...

The female lead in the series is Erin Krakow. She is a very accomplished Juilliard grad with a new release ('Friend Request')now available on Pixl Movie channel.

anita crane said...

My daughter just brought me home the DVD from Walmart.. it is 89 minutes.. the premiere movie before the series? I don't get the Hallmark station so I don't know! I just thought it funny she brought this home and I saw your link on Homeliving blogspot!

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Elizabeth Anne said:
Gotta admit I have been looking forward to this series since I heard about it way back in April or May. I have read the first three books of the series, and love them dearly. I was a bit confused and disappointed about the main characters when they mentioned the dark haired Elizabeth was actually Aunt Elizabeth's niece. Her niece is in fact in the first book, only she is a very little girl then. I just hope they have enough of Elizabeth Thatcher and Wynn... I sooooo love Wynn in the books, and the actor they chose for him for the film looks pretty accurate to my idea of that fine fellow! <3

Jessica said...

Guess I will watch this when it is on DVD, since I don't have the Hallmark Channel or any channel for that matter. ha
I wish they had just based it more on the books, but it seems they don't know how to do that. ha

Jennifer Couch said...

I am very disappointed in this. I am a lifelong Janette Oke fan and When Calls the Heart was the first of hers that I read at age 13. Twenty years later, and I still pick it up and read it. I wish they would stick to the book. The story of Elizabeth and Wynn was so delightful. Why change it?!

Anonymous said...

I hope it's not too late to chime in. :) The pilot movie was very good, and the scenes with Elizabeth and Wynn were very true to the book When Calls The Heart. I looked on amazon and there is a new book by Oke about this later Elizabeth. I haven't read it yet, but the info on about the books seems to match the story in the movie. We enjoyed the movie. We have watched a couple episodes of the series now and it is good, but not as good as the movie, and they made some changes, so the storyline is not an exact continuation of the pilot, which is sort of annoying, but we are enjoying the story anyway. Also, it seems that so far in the series there has been no mention of the original Elizabeth and Wynn, so that was also disappointing, as we were hoping that storyline would continue along with the other one, but instead it is left out completely. But still, it is fun to watch with my daughters. :)

Chrissy said...

I love watching the TV series and I loved the movie but I do so wish that they had made it about Wynn and Elizabeth Delaney instead. I hope that sometime in the future they produce a movie(s) or TV series about them in addition.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping they would bring back Erin Krakow and the original Jack, wanted to know what happened in Coal Valley after the judge arrived.. seems too disjointed to bring out newer different love the idea of a series..

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