Episode 2006 - Coming Together, Coming Apart
From the Production Journal of Brian Bird, Executive Producer of When Calls the Heart
Purpose. As we are nearing the end of production of our Season 2 episodes, the idea of our “purpose” seems to be the big question on everybody’s minds, cast and crew alike. Is “When Calls the Heart” just another TV show, just another hour of entertainment, or is there something happening out there in the culture that has called us all “for such a time as this.”
Of course, we’re hoping the script for Hour No. 8 of Season 2 by Tony Blake is a very fun, entertaining episode of TV. But in this script, Erin Krakow will have one of the more important speeches of the second season as “Elizabeth Thatcher” is sorting out her feelings about Hamilton and Hope Valley. What is her purpose in life? What on earth was she put here to do? Is she supposed to spend her life in the lap of luxury and endless shopping sprees and fancy gatherings? Or is there something bigger than herself and her family heritage waiting for her? Does Hope Valley represent that “Esther”-like call on her life made so powerfully in the Old Testament. So, too, the fans of this show will have to ask themselves if they are in love with just another TV series or is “When Calls the Heart” actually like a beachhead in Normandy in the struggle to keep society from going over a dark cliff?
During production, I don’t get a chance to watch what the competition is doing over there on the other side of the culture war, but I have no doubt, there are very few programs like ours (however imperfect it may be), that attempt to lift up life and faith and family. Cynicism rules our world now. As long as any of us involved in this show have breath, there will be no cynicism in Hope Valley. Life is too short to play the cynical card and leave hope on the table. I have no idea whether the #Heartie groundswell of fans that rose up in Season 1 will still be with us out here in the twilight of Season 2, but if they are, they will be a force to reckoned with. They will have a purpose. Family television of the kind to which the Hallmark Channel is committed is an endangered species in the land. And if it becomes extinct, I guarantee there will be a giant gaping hole in the heart of culture. We need committed and outspoken preservationists, and it seems to me if anybody can do, it will be the Hearties. Until production of the Season 2 finale… peace on all of us.
-- Brian Bird