Coming to DVD from Shout! Factory and “Hearties” everywhere is an amazing set of films that touch us all with life, love and always knowing WHEN CALLS THE HEART: Year Five.
The Heart of Homecoming shows the people of Hope Valley at their very caring best as Christmas comes to town. Wanting to make sure everyone’s holidays are special and bright, the town gets ready for a Christmas parade. Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) is volunteering to take her mind off of missing Jack (Daniel Lissing) who is still on Mountie assignment.
Hearts and Minds has Elizabeth’s sister coming to Hope Valley. Julie (Charlotte Hegele) has decided that perhaps she would follow Elizabeth into teaching and shadow’s her sister at the school house. Abigail (Lori Loughlin) believes that the railroad can be a good thing for Hope Valley but she needs the towns help. Bill (Jack Wagner) must leave on official business and with Jack gone the only other person he trusts to be the law in the town is Lee (Kavan Smith) who also gets a taste of being town sheriff.
Home is Where the Heart is finally has Jack returning home to a very happy Elizabeth. It also means that she can begin to plan their wedding and Abigail is excited to help. One of Elizabeth’s students, Hattie, is chosen to start a school newspaper. Trying to find stories to tell is more difficult that the young girl imagined but it doesn’t stop her from telling a story she didn’t check facts on first.
My Heart is Yours is the day all the ‘Hearties’ have been waiting for. Jack and Elizabeth’s wedding day is close and the plans are moving forward. A telegram arrives for Jack sending him on a Mountie assignment but Bill won’t let anything get in the way of Jack’s big day. Instead, Bill rides out of town to do a prisoner transfer but things go awry putting his best man duties in jeopardy. Elizabeth has chosen students to be part of her wedding day and while rehearsing brings danger to the school. Abigail is thrilled that Pastor Frank (Mark Humphrey) has returned for the big day but they also need to decide how to go forward with their relationship.
Weather the Storm has Abigail continues to try and find investors to keep Hope Valley’s bank afloat. Elizabeth gets the idea and the towns help to have children follow one business in the town to learn how things work. The children are excited and chose only to discover that the adults are doing everything they can to make their town successful. AJ Foster (Josie Bissett) is back and Bill must deal with what happened a year ago between them.
Close to My Heart has Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) and her fluttery nature front and center. Lee’s former business partner who passed away brings his widow Eleanor to Hope Valley. Rosemary doesn’t understand all of her questions about business and success in their town. Eleanor finds Henry (Martin Cummins) and offers him a position wanting to open up a business. He is happy thinking he finally can get rid of the bad reputation he has with the townspeople. This is his chance but will he do the right thing? Finally, tragedy comes to Hope Valley and the entire town is in shock and devastated.
But life always shows us faith and hope!
Krakow as Elizabeth takes her character in a direction that is so lovely and difficult and heartbreaking for the viewer. A beloved person in Hope Valley, Elizabeth has cemented her place and when she deals with life-trials, it is those who have made her beloved that are there for her. Krakow has taken her character steps further each episode and season. That means those of us who love the show have grown right along with her and it has been an amazing journey.
Lissing as Thornton has done his role proud and with that said I’m saddened that he will no longer be Mountie Jack. That is a role that is strong, steadfast, endearing and what it means to be dedicated to one’s profession and the community where he lives. Those are characteristics some might say are lacking in our world today, yet Lissing has shown that although the series is set in another time, his actions are timeless. We will miss you Mountie Jack and we wish you well Daniel Lissing.
Loughlin as Abigail continues to be a pillar of the town taking on the role of mayor, mother to two orphaned children and run the town’s café. If that isn’t enough, she is trying to save the town’s bank by looking for investors. Loughlin is such a strong character in this series and yet hasn’t forgotten her humanity or what the word love truly means.
Wagner as Bill is the town law and has found his place in Hope Valley. He is equally dependable and has a grumpy kind of caring towards the people of the town. Wagner makes me laugh at times with how much he wants to pretend to be annoyed by something yet is the first to jump in when needed.
Hutton as Rosemary is continually delightful, thoughtful in her way, bold, flamboyant and oh so colorful. The way she thinks is a little self-serving at times but never in a hurtful or aggressive way. Instead she just wants everyone to be as happy as she is in life. Hutton is such a joy to watch as she keeps Rosemary moving forward with married life, friendship and town life.
Smith as Leland is as busy as ever with the lumber business while balancing married life. He has become such a strong part of the community and keeps the people of the town working. Smith brings charm, personality and humor to his marriage (which is cute beyond belief) and concern for the town he calls home and all his loved ones who live there.
Humphrey as Frank became important to Hope Valley but things change and Abigail knows it. This character has been embraced and emotionally necessary to balance everything that has happened to the people in town. Added to that is Greene as Carson, the town doctor, and they finally can be physically well.
Other cast include Paul Greene as Carson Shepherd, Andrea Brooks as Faith Carter, Eva Aren Bucholz as Jesse Flynn, Carter Evancic as Cody Hastings, Ava Cooper as Opal, and Max Lloyd-Jones as Tom Thornton
SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty And The Beast. Also their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.
The six-disc DVD includes all the movies seen during the 5th season of WHEN THE HEART CALLS.
Inspired by the books of Janette Oke, The Hallmark Channel has been home to the series. WHEN THE HEART CALLS is brought by executive producer Michael Landon, Jr. A spin off of the series When Hope Calls is expected to begin airing in 2019 on the Hallmark Movies Now service.
Included with WHEN CALLS THE HEART: Year Five is an amazing and truly emotional book When God Calls the Heart: Devotions from Hope Valley by Brian Bird, Michelle Cox and a forward from creator Janette Oke. Each chapter brings remembrance of a story told by Elizabeth Thatcher and other characters leading to a scripture, a simple prayer and questions that we can all relate to answering.
WHEN CALLS THE HEART is a series that gracefully makes its way into ones heart, whether they are expecting it to happen or not. The characters created by Oke are strong, solid, endearing, tough, caring and filled with all the complexities that come along with being a human being. Yet in all of that, these characters never forget how to love, be compassionate and give to those who have less.
That is how we all truly want to see the world despite what we see on television or the news these days. Ann Frank said it best that, “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”
That is Hope Valley and the characters who live there – being good at heart even when there are moments that are questionable. Each of the townspeople has their story that we have all come to know and it’s not always good. Yet, at the heart of those not-so-good stories are the people who believe that everyone is good at heart – like Abigail feels towards Henry Gowen.
Country life or city life – the key word is life and that’s what WHEN CALLS THE HEART brings viewers. It may be another era but the values and beliefs are universal and timeless. This is a series that the entire family can watch together and embrace and, let’s be honest, there are not too many shows that can fly that flag.
WHEN CALLS THE HEART: Year Five is the DVD that deserves a place next to all the series DVD’s in everyone’s home entertainment library. Hallmark Channel and Shout! Factory not only make it possible but a blessing.
In the end – it is a town filled with hope and heart!