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'When Calls the Heart' frontier series premieres on Hallmark Channel

"When Calls the Heart" is a frontier series that premiered on Hallmark Channel on Sat., Jan. 11, 2013. The series is based on the novel by Janette Oke and directed by Michael Landon Jr. See the attached photo show for pictures from the series premiere of "When Calls the Heart."

Elizabeth Thatcher arrives in Coal Valley, and is welcomed by Abigail Stanton and the new Constable Jack Thornton. Photo: Daniel Lissing, Erin Krakow
Elizabeth Thatcher arrives in Coal Valley, and is welcomed by Abigail Stanton and the new Constable Jack Thornton. Photo: Daniel Lissing, Erin KrakowCrown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

The series premiere, "Lost and Found," introduced the characters of Coal Valley, a coal mining town in western Canada, during the 19th century. Coal mining was a dangerous occupation, requiring men to work in poor conditions to support their families.

The story is told from the point of view of young schoolteacher Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow, "Chance at Romance"), a woman from a wealthy family who moves to the frontier to teach the children of the coal miners. On route to the town, her stagecoach is robbed and she arrives two days late, without her suitcases. It is a bad start, as most of the women decide at first look that she will not fit into the gritty town. They agree on a one week trial to see if Elizabeth is up to the job of educating their children to prepare them for a better life.

Kindly Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin, "Full House," "Garage Sale Mystery") takes Elizabeth in after she accidently burns down her rough lodging. Elizabeth begins to teach the children, who are disinterested in study and distracted by the adult happenings in town.

A recent explosion in the coal mine has taken the lives of several of the men, leaving widows to support their children. When the final bodies are recovered, the townpeople gather. Handsome and mysterious Mountie Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) rides up and introduces himself as Coal Valley’s new Constable. He intervenes in a squabble over a sign found in the mine, with a message from one of the coalminers.

Many of the widows claim the plank must be from their deceased loved one. Jack makes his first decision as the town authority, stating that coalmine head Henry Gowen (Martin Cummins) will find the correct owner of the plank by comparing writing samples provided by widows.

Elizabeth and Jack are young, attractive and are newcomers to town, so it would seem that they have a lot in common. Although they seem to be attracted to eachother, they start to argue. Jack learns that Elizabeth is the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate and believes that it is because of her that he was dispatched to the frontier: in order to protect her. The circumstances cause acrimony between the two and they argue about how long each will last in the rugged frontier.

The cast of "When Calls the Heart" includes: Erin Krakow (Elizabeth Thatcher), Daniel Lissing (Jack Thornton). Lori Loughlin (Abigail Stanton), Chelah Horsdal (Cat Montgomery), Martin Cummins (Henry Gowen), Adrian Hough (Reverend Anderson), Steve Bacic (Charles Spurlock), Loretta Walsh (Florence Blakeley), Eric Breker (Herbert Ansvil), Jill Morrison (Carla Noonan), Johannah Newmarch (Molly Sullivan), Emily Perkins (Marta Crocker), Bruce Harwood (Mayor Silas Ramsey), Hrothgar Mathews (Ned Yost), Mitchell Kummen (Gabe Montgomery), Logan Williams (Miles Montgomery), Gracyn Shinyei (Emily Montgomery), Mamie Laverock (Rosaleen Sullivan), Darius Zaviceanu (James Fremont), Jonah Bell (Jesse Filkow), Rachel Stonelake (Katelyn Mager) and Franklin Palmer (Jarrett Knowles).

“When Calls the Heart” is a Believe Pictures and Brad Krevoy Television production. Executive Producers are Brad Krevoy, Brian Bird, Michael Landon Jr., Michael Shepard, Jimmy Townsend. Co-Executive Producers are Francisco J. Gonzalez, Alexandre Coscas and Eric Jarboe, produced by Vicki Sotheran and Greg Malcolm. "When Calls the Heart" is written by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley and directed by Michael Landon Jr.. The movie is based on the novel, When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke.