Hallmark’s hit series When Calls the Heart isn’t airing a Christmas special this year, which is leaving fans more eager than ever to get started on Season 8 of the series. Stars involved with the series have been leaving some tantalizing clues and behind-the-scenes thoughts about what to expect from Season 8 when it premieres on February 21.
The Executive Producer Said About the Opener: ‘All I Can Say Is … Boom’
Production on Season 8 resumed in July, following strict COVID-19 protocols. Erin Krakow, who plays Elizabeth, told ET: “We’re operating in pods, [meaning] teams of people generally in the same department, and will be working to avoid crossover between them as much as possible. We’re aiming to film scenes outdoors as much as possible. And yes, masks for everyone but the actors in scenes.”
— Erin Krakow (@erinkrakow) July 27, 2020
Executive Producer Brian Bird told fans on July 3 about the very first script of the season: “#Hearties… I just read the @WCTH_TV season 8 opener written by @brspndr and all I can say is… Boom.”
— Brian Bird (@brbird) July 3, 2020
John Tinker Is the Head Writer This Season
John Tinker of Chesapeake Shores joined the show in Season 8 as the head writer.
#Hearties, on the heels of our S7 finale, I'm excited to intro my pal @brspndr John Tinker as our S8 head writer for @WCTH_TV! John is terrific writer from a legendary showbiz family and I know Hope Valley and its citizens are in great hands! Welcome John! @hallmarkchannel pic.twitter.com/FnXaL0mKYy
— Brian Bird (@brbird) May 2, 2020
Krakow shared in a tweet that he was going to be the showrunner for Season 8.
#Hearties I hope you’ll join me in welcoming our new Showrunner to the @WCTH_TV fam: the VERY talented @brspndr! John will be leading our fantastic returning writers @derekw_thompson & Elizabeth Stewart, as well as our new writers’ assistant @allieiswriting1! Let’s show them ❤️! pic.twitter.com/0S2s433JIU
— Erin Krakow (@erinkrakow) May 2, 2020
When filming wrapped, Tinker shared this photo with Krakow.
Wrapping WCTH Season 8. What a gift. I will always stand behind our crew and cast, beginning with the very talented, generous, intelligent, tireless (and funny) @erinkrakow @WCTH_TV pic.twitter.com/dsr3EhMMOp
— John Tinker (@brspndr) November 16, 2020
And he shared this photo of the set at night.
The multi-talented Sarah Mabberley! https://t.co/AX7VMEVUxd
— John Tinker (@brspndr) November 16, 2020
Allie Deveraux, who is a writing assistant for Season 8, shared this tweet when filming wrapped.
Just finished my last day on WCTH Season 8! I am so grateful to be a part of the amazing team that brings Hope Valley to life and am truly thankful to all the wonderful people on the show! 💜 pic.twitter.com/WNG6zD45ye
— Allie Devereaux (@allieiswriting1) November 7, 2020
Erin Krakow Said Elizabeth ‘Won’t Have to Hug Herself Much Longer’
During filming, Erin Krakow — who plays Elizabeth — shared a “no filter” photo of Hope Valley.
— Erin Krakow (@erinkrakow) October 28, 2020
And she hinted that Elizabeth won’t have to “hug herself much longer.” But she didn’t divulge anything beyond that about Elizabeth’s future with Lucas or Nathan.
The Cast Shared Many Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Andrea Brooks is back for Season 8.
And she’ll have some great scenes with Paul Greene.
She said she’s no longer hiding a baby bump like she did last season.
Pascale Hutton looked really tired on the last day of filming.
But she looked refreshed on her post about the show wrapping the season.
Kevin McGarry showed this photo, thanking the crew.
But he also didn’t reveal any spoilers.
Photos with Chris McNally who plays Lucas also didn’t reveal any hints about what to expect in the Elizabeth storyline.
Martin Cummins (who plays Henry) shared that his last day on the set for the new season was November 17.
He shared this photo from the set on October 27.
Jack Wagner, meanwhile, shared this really funny video with Erin Krakow.
And on a more serious note, he shared this beautiful video of the scenery while filming.
In October, he shared this cute video with his horse.
Ben Rosenbaum portrays Michael Hickam. When filming wrapped, he shared a photo thanking everyone. He wrote: “It was a pleasure to be on set with you each day and especially meaningful to enjoy the privilege of your company this year. Can’t wait for you to see what we’ve made #hearties”
Loretta Walsh shared her new favorite outfit for Florence.
The cast wore PPE in between takes to stay safe.
Hope Valley Is Getting Some New New Residents
Hope Valley is getting some new residents. A family of four (the Canfields) are moving in, Krakow shared on Instagram.
Viv Leacock is playing Joseph Canfield. Natasha Burnett will play his wife Minnie Canfield. Leacock’s real-life children are playing his two children on the show: Vienna plays Angela and Elias plays Cooper.
ET reported that Joseph Canfield will be trying to buy a gas station in Hope Valley.
The New Season Will Have 2 Extra Episodes
Because we’re not getting a movie this year, Season 8 is going to have two additional episodes for fans to enjoy.
Executive Producer Brian Bird shared the news with fans in a public announcement:
…The silver lining is 12 EPISODES (instead of 10) in Season 8… and something else… a holiday surprise that will be there for you under your tree anyway. (More about that later). In the meantime, thanks for always rolling with us through thick and thin with your Hope Valley values of patience and understanding. Hearties are the best fan-community in the world. I feel sorry for all the other TV shows out there that don’t have big shoulders to lean on… like we do with you!
We love you and God bless you!
A Christmas Surprise Is Happening for Hearties
While we weren’t able to complete a Christmas movie this year, we heard you and have added 2 new episodes this coming season and a special surprise on Christmas Day! 💜🤗
— Hallmark Channel (@hallmarkchannel) September 23, 2020
Despite not having a Christmas movie, When Calls the Heart fans will enjoy something special on Christmas Day 2020, including an encore of last year’s Christmas movie.