when calls the heart hallmark maggie grace stephen amell 'When Calls the Heart': Stephen Amell and Maggie Grace launch Janette Oke's frontier series“When Calls the Heart” debuted its special two-hour pilot on Saturday (Oct. 19), starring newcomer Poppy Drayton as Elizabeth Thatcher, a girl who leaves her posh family home in 1910 to teach in a frontier town.

Along the way, she discovers her Aunt Elizabeth’s (Maggie Grace) diary and reads about her namesake who was also a teacher on the frontier — and who fell in love with a local man named Wynn Delaney (Stephan Amell).

Young Elizabeth has her own romance with Royal Canadian Mountie Edward Montclair (Daniel Sharman), and also encounters two headstrong coal miner’s widows, Abigail Stanton (Lori Loughlin) and Frances Tunnecliffe (Jean Smart).

The two-hour movie kicks off what is to become a series for Hallmark starting in 2014. It will star Erin Krakow (“Army Wives” “Castle”) and Daniel Lissing (“Last Resort”) in the roles of young Elizabeth and Edward, with Loughlin and Smart having the chance to reprise their roles if they chose.

What did you think of “When Calls the Heart”?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."