"Wonderful Window into the West"
What You Need To Know:
WHEN CALLS THE HEART is based on a series of novels by Janette Oke, author of the LOVE COMES SOFTLY books. The first episode is absolutely beautiful and very entertaining, with a strong Christian, moral worldview. The writing and acting are terrific. The direction by Michael Landon, Jr. is superb. MOVIEGUIDE® commends The Hallmark Channel for this excellent series.
(CCC, BBB, V, M) Very strong Christian, moral worldview with overt prayers at a funeral and overt references to God, church, and doing the right thing; one light Oh, God; a fistfight among young boys in a school; no sex; no nudity; no drinking; no smoking or drugs; and, truancy and stealing but rebuked.
Set in 1910 in the Western Canada village of Coal Valley, WHEN CALLS THE HEART is a beautiful, exciting TV program about a wealthy young woman who comes to teach in an isolated coal-mining town.
Elizabeth’s sister implores her not to go and predicts all the problem’s Elizabeth is going to have, including the robbers who do rob the stagecoach. So, Elizabeth ends up having to walk to Coal Valley until she is picked up by a buggy. When she gets to town, she discovers the school is meeting in a saloon because the schoolhouse burned down. Furthermore, many of the miners recently died in a terrible mine explosion. So, the schoolchildren are still suffering from the loss of their fathers.
As soon as the townswomen look at Elizabeth, they tell her to go home. She can’t possibly survive in the Wild West. Stubbornly, she insists on staying, but accidentally burns down the little house built for the teacher by hanging her dress to dry too close to the wood burning stove.
When a plaque with the last message of one of the miners is found, the surviving miners tell the owner they should get the plaque. The owner refuses, and the miners get angry. Before a riot takes place, a Canadian Mountie, named Jack Thornton, shows up and works out a sensible solution.
Jack quickly realizes that it’s because of Elizabeth’s wealthy father that he’s been transferred from a great post in the big city to this forgotten village. So, the various sparks of annoyance fly between Elizabeth and Jack throughout most of the first episode.
Elizabeth gets caught in a fistfight between her students and gets a black eye. One of her boys steals the plaque, thinking it’s a message from his father.
Various questions propel the plot: Will they find the owner of the plaque that says, “Forgive me?” Will Jack decide to stay? Will Elizabeth survive the Wild West?
WHEN CALLS THE HEART is based on a series of novels by Janette Oaks, author of the LOVE COMES SOFTLY books. The first episode is absolutely beautiful and very entertaining, with a strong Christian, moral worldview. The writing is terrific. The acting is superb. All of this works because of the director and co-writer, Michael Landon, Jr. Hallmark is to be highly commended and congratulated for this excellent series.