The bulletin from “When Calls the Heart” that every Heartie had long hoped would be delivered came this week, as ShowbizCheatSheet reported on June 30, confirming that the Hallmark Channel’s centerpiece drama would begin production on Season 8 on July 20. Hope Valley will come to life again after months of an uncertain hiatus, and co-creator and executive producer, Brian Bird, encouraged erstwhile viewers to “put your reading glasses on for this” as verification “from on high” in a social media post.

Just as with virtually every production in the arena of TV Shows, “When Calls the Heart” shuttered future plans under the coronavirus siege.

Canada actually took more stringent action than the US, and series set in Vancouver quickly sent the word out that cast and crew would shelter in place until given the official executive go-ahead for cheating the next season.

The lovely leading lady, Erin Krakow, took the joyful duty of telling “When Calls the Heart” fans that Season 8 was a sure thing for the uplifting drama during the Season 7 finale on April 26. Under current pandemic conditions, viewers grew concerned that the season already locked in might remain locked down for many more months. All of the cast and everyone involved with the drama are displaying great courage in going forward, and every precaution is being taken to create a safe and healthy set.

Coziness on ‘When Calls the Heart’ may be put on hold

According to the restart plans and guidelines mentioned in Canada's Global News, the actors and the crew must adhere to appropriate social-distancing and limit the number of persons on set at a time. Extra time will also be allotted for sanitizing and cleansing of items and wardrobe.

Actors will have the right to refuse close contact with other performers, including hugging and kissing.

Elizabeth only had her first emotional hug with Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry) in Season 7’s finale, after fearing he was dead from a gunshot, and he was clearly as unprepared for the instantaneous reaction as she was in giving it.

Only time will tell if her rushing embrace was simply provoked by reliving the horror of losing her late husband, Jack, or something more. Whatever her reasons, Nathan knows he needs to work on self-expression of his own feelings to win her heart. The Constable did get four significant words out in the episode “New Possibilities” in Season 7 but hasn’t managed the feat of a real date yet. Whatever direction their “When Calls the Heart” path takes, they have more talking to do without Elizabeth working to pull every word out.

In contrast, Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally) has expressed his intentions in words and flourishing gestures, all of which communicate that what matters to Elizabeth matters to him.

No “When Calls the Heart” can never forget his assurance that while “I was aware of your beauty,” he became “fascinated by your goodness,” as he told Elizabeth after gifting the library to Hope Valley. He further proclaimed both his love and his willingness to wait as long as necessary to win her heart while treating her to a lavish dinner on their trip to see Virginia Woolf. Once again, Lucas arranged the wonderful experience only for her and made it clear that he was not going anywhere.

The glances and passing brushes between the resilient single mother and schoolteacher and her suitors have conveyed deeper emotion than dozens of pages involving a steamy love scene. The historic mores of courtly love mix seamlessly with superb storytelling from the “When Calls the Heart” writers.

Erin Krakow explained to Diedre Behar of Entertainment Tonight in May that if she had been asked about a possible kiss between Lucas and Elizabeth on their outing, her answer would have been “a hard NO,” since has not even been able to bring herself to say the word “date.”

Fans should be very willing to let Elizabeth move at her own pace. For Season 8, Hearties may join Lucas and Nathan in dreaming of kisses, while the leading lady decides which man should get them. Erin urged fans to steer clear of “cattiness” in their support for her leading men. Genuine viewers support the full cast and hope for many “When Calls the Heart” seasons to come.

Faithful ‘When Calls the Heart’ fans can celebrate family happiness for Lee and Rosemary

Lately, there's been lots of coupling up on “When Calls the Heart,” but the couple who keeps all of Hope Valley rolling in love and laughter is Lee and Rosemary Coulter, embodied by Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith on-screen. Legions of hearties long for the community’s most stalwart couple to be blessed with a child of their own, and the actors themselves say that Season 8 is the time.

The lively co-stars seem to finish one another’s sentences on-screen and off, and while they differ on just how a child arrives to complete the circle of love for Lee and Rosemary, they know for certain that Season 8 has to be when fans and the stars “deserve” to see the cherished dream come true.

“I want to see Rosemary pregnant!” Pascale told Entertainment Tonight in early May. Kavan teased about wanting an animatronic infant before saying that he favored adoption. Either option gives fans a full season of love and preparing for the blessed arrival and more reason never to miss “When Calls the Heart.”

Reliving Season 7 of ‘When Calls the Heart’ will tide fans over

In the typical “When Calls the Heart” season, July would be just about a month before the season’s production wraps. In this very unusual but welcome season, shooting is weeks from beginning,

The season usually starts with filming the traditional Christmas feature. It’s going to take some imagination and physical fortitude to improvise winter’s chill in July—even in Vancouver.

On every level, the actors are taking real risks, because they cannot do their work wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) while performing their roles, particularly in the 1910s.

For fans who can’t manage streaming or per-episode purchase, the DVD set of “When Calls the Heart” Season 7 releases on September 23 in the US, via Shout Factory. Rewinding the many stirring and sweet memories may last just long enough to take Hearties happily into Season 8, ready for an overflow of love and adventure.

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