Episode 2007 - With All My Heart
From the Production Journal of Brian Bird, Executive Producer of When Calls the Heart
Well, this is it. Our final two hours of Season 2, and we’re all taking a deep breath, amazed that our little show that could has come this far.
As Erin, Daniel, Lori, Jack, Martin, Pascale, Kristina, Kavan, Loretta and the rest of our stellar actors are in their trailers preparing for these last 14 days of filming, there’s a both a sense of satisfaction and resolve for cast and crew alike. Of course, everyone is ready for some R & R from all the long hours these last several months, but we are all also deeply grateful for this rare opportunity to do a TV series that stands for something good in the world.
And like our beloved characters that will be taking some big steps of faith in these last two scripts (which will be sometimes surprising, uplifting and perhaps even shocking to our loyal #Hearties), everyone associated with this show has had to take steps of faith just to be involved with When Calls the Heart.
Horror films and series, and edgy adult dramas are the low-hanging fruit in the entertainment business for both actors and crew members. Working on a faith-and-family show like ours is sometimes a risk because you can be stereotyped for doing it. So there are steps of faith aplenty when it comes this show. And it occurs to me that’s what we all have to do across this great big world. No matter how you believe, or even if you believe at all, life usually requires faith in something or someone. Sometimes just to get out of bed in the morning. Other times to face the gargantuan challenges and circumstances that the world throws our way.
It’s a little like that railroad spur that Leland Coulter and Henry Gowen have been vying to bring into Hope Valley this season. In the railroad business, there are always two parallel tracks running down the line, or the train would fall over. It could never go forward on one track (well, I guess they’ve made that work at Disneyland, but you get my point). Those two parallel tracks seem like an apt metaphor for life to me. One of the tracks I see as the blessings of life and the other track I see as the curses (or the circumstances). You can’t have one without the other. They are always going to drag against each other.
Each of us achieves victory in one way or another, or we reach a mountaintop we never thought we could, and then we turn around and see that other track trailing right alongside. It’s always there with its challenges and circumstances that never go away. We have to make peace with the duality of triumph followed closely by tragedy. Success followed by snafu. It will always be that way, and it’s not a bad thing. It can keep you grounded in reality and from getting too big for your britches.
As our #Hearties will see in a few months on a Sunday night, that is one of the inherent lessons of this Season 2 finale, especially the last two minutes. And it’s a good lesson for life. Like Michael Landon, Jr. and I did several years ago when we first tried to bring When Calls the Heart to life – and as the Hallmark Channel did when they agreed to order this show as a continuing series – we stepped forward in faith without knowing what the future would hold. And whenever or however this series ends – whether it be now at the apex of Season 2 or Season 22 – we’ve made our peace with it. Lee Coulter’s two train tracks will be with us forever. I’m keeping my eye mostly on the blessing track, without sticking my head in the sand about the cursed track. I hope our wonderful, honorary #Heartie crew will do the same. Until we’re doing this again sometime soon… or at least in the reruns… God bless you.
-- Brian Bird