Hearties may still be reeling from the Season 8 finale of When Calls the Heart, but the cast and crew are already hard at work on Season 9.
Actors have been posting behind-the-scenes shots on social media of the set in British Columbia that serves as the town of Hope Valley in the Hallmark series.
“Getting Rosemary ready!” wrote Pascale Hutton in a caption on Instagram of a wardrobe fitting.
Chris McNally shared a photo of himself posing behind a produce stand on the set with the caption, “First day of season ix thanks @erinkrakow for taking this completely candid photo of me of which I was totally absolutely unaware.”
Hallmark Channel also released the news that Season 9 will feature 12 episodes. There is still no news as to whether there will be a Christmas special this year.
Behind the scenes
Erin Krakow, who stars as Elizabeth Thatcher and is an executive producer for the show, spoke to ET Online.
“We couldn’t be more excited to begin shooting Season 9 of When Calls the Heart,” she said. “It’s a wonderful feeling being back on set with the amazing cast and crew. There are a lot more stories to tell this season and thanks to the talented writing staff, there will be more drama, adventure, and romance and we can’t wait for our fans to see what Hope Valley has in store.”
She also shared a photo on Instagram of several stars getting hair and makeup done with the caption, “6 am.”
Love triangle controversy
The Season 8 finale, The Kiss, aired May 9 to an estimated 3.6 million viewers. During the episode, widow Elizabeth Thornton (Krakow) ended a love triangle that had been ongoing for three seasons.
But some fans were not pleased with her choice of businessman Lucas Bouchard (Chris McNally) over Mountie Nathan Grant (Kevin McGarry). They even compared it to the end of Season 5, when Elizabeth’s first husband, Jack Thornton, was killed shortly after their wedding.
One fan wrote on Facebook, “Boo! Lucas! We were totally rooting for Nathan. Lucas and Elizabeth, no chemistry. What a gigantic disappointment. In a way, this was worse than killing Jack off.”
Some even threatened to boycott the series.
In a June interview on the Greenelines podcast, writer Brian Bird said there were too many similarities between Nathan and Elizabeth’s first husband, Jack, who was also a “mountie” (short for Royal Canadian Mounted Police).
“We wanted to find a new way to do a love story for Elizabeth, so we didn’t just repeat the same storylines,” he said. “I feel a big responsibility to give the Hearties Hope Valley for as many seasons as possible.”
Season 9 of When Calls the Heart will air on the Hallmark Channel in 2022.