How will social distancing affect When Calls the Heart’s romances?

Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart returns to production on July 20

With the recent announcement of a return to production, When Calls the Heart cast and crew will be back in Vancouver on July 20 to start the eighth season of the popular heartwarming drama. According to, enhanced protocols will be in place that could affect how the Hallmark Channel drama unfolds.

When Season 7 of the show ended, Elizabeth Thornton (Erin Krakow) had made what appeared to be a choice in the love triangle between Mountie Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry) and saloon owner Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally) by running into Nathan’s arms after fearing for his safety. So, presumably, this season will include more romance. When Calls the Heart already has two married couples, Jesse and Clara and Lee and Rosemary, which ups the romance factor as well.

Per WorksafeBC protocols, actors will be able to refuse close contact with other actors, including hugging and kissing. Clearly, this would change how the romances appear onscreen but the friendships as well. Actors living outside Canada will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and before appearing on set. So this might offer some reassurance for the actors.

How will When Calls the Heart writers work around the guidelines?

When Calls the Heart writers have been challenged in the past by having to write Daniel Lissing’s character, Jack Thornton, out of the series when he wanted to leave. Though his departure wasn’t popular among fans, the episodes dealing with his death were dramatic and beautifully written. (Some of the most heartbreaking scenes were Elizabeth alone when she was coming to terms with the death of her husband.)

When Calls the Heart

Elizabeth hears good news. Lee gets a surprise that stirs up something from his past. Photo: Erin Krakow Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

Writers have since had to work around the loss of the character of Abigail Stanton and her son, Cody Stanton. Dealing with the loss of major characters certainly has to be more troublesome than figuring out how to keep romances and friendships going strong even if touching is limited.

Still, it’s possible romances will be put on the back burner until restrictions are lifted. And there are certainly more stories to be told that don’t involve romance.

Next: 4 fun facts about When Calls the Heart's Hope Valley

Do you think the guidelines will change how the romances are portrayed? What are you most looking forward to on When Calls the Heart Season 8? 

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