DVD Review – When Calls The Heart: Rules of Engagement

Outstanding Episodes but DVD Marred by Deletion of Significant Scene

When Calls the Heart: Rules of Engagement
Directed by Neill Fearnley

Release Date: November 11, 2014
Format: DVD, 85 minutes
Inspired By: The novel by Janette Oke
DVD Contents: When Calls the Heart Television Series, Season 1, Episodes 11 and 12 (Rules of Engagement, Prelude to a Kiss)
Written By: Neal Dobrofsky, Tippi Dobrofsky

Starring: Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing, Lori Loughlin, Jack Wagner, Martin Cummins, Chelah Horsdal, Loretta Walsh, Charlotte Hegele, with Special Guest Star James Brolin

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Jack is back in Coal Valley along with an unexpected visitor who threatens his relationship with Elizabeth. Meanwhile, as Mountie Inspector Bill Avery investigates the mine explosion with help from Jack, a romance blossoms between him and Abigail, and Elizabeth struggles to make a decision about a teaching offer back home.

My Review

Hallmark Channel TV series When Calls The Heart, inspired by author Janette Oke’s Canadian West series, is, bar none, one of the best new TV series in recent years. Nowadays, it’s far too rare to have a television show that the whole family can enjoy together. For good old-fashioned, values-centered entertainment with deep talent and abundant heart, look no further than When Calls The Heart. My only complaint is that the first season and this upcoming season (beginning April 2015) are only half-seasons, so it’s difficult to get enough of this show. Luckily, for enthusiastic viewers, or those who may have missed the show when it first aired, the episodes can be purchased on DVD.

Lori & JackRules of Engagement is the final DVD of the first season, combining episode 11, “Rules of Engagement” and episode 12, “Prelude to a Kiss”. Constable Jack Thornton and Elizabeth Thatcher are reunited, but their relationship becomes complicated and challenged by a visitor to Coal Valley. Meanwhile, Abigail helps a Mountie inspector investigate the mine explosion. Does she now have not only a friend and ally but a potential suitor?

ShakespeareHands off! wrote, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” When Rosemary, a beautiful actress from the big city, shows up, we find out that Jack has a romantic past that might stand in the way of his future (and possibly even present) with Elizabeth. Once again, the chemistry between actors Daniel Lissing (Jack) and Erin Krakow (Elizabeth) is terrific, and it’s a delight to watch them in scenes together. Pascale Hutton, who plays Rosemary, the “ghost” from Jack’s past, is captivating. The unflappable Rosemary is beguiling and bewitching — a “villainess” you’ll love to loathe!

Elizabeth continues to forge important connections with her students. This time we meet a bright new pupil whose voracious appetite for learning is fettered by his family’s pressing need for him to earn a living. It’s moving to see Elizabeth’s passion for learning and teaching as she does everything she can to prevent the mine from swallowing up the promise and future of another young man.

In the final episode there’s a huge climatic event between Jack and Elizabeth. No spoilers, but it’s beautiful to watch the scene unfold. At season’s end, in the original TV airing, there was an additional scene tagged on as a cliffhanger of sorts for Season Two. (The writers just had to throw in a little drama and tension after our nice happy moment!) Unfortunately, that important scene was removed from the DVD version; according to Executive Producer Brian Bird, it was at the request of the distributors. Because the scene is so pivotal, its deletion creates a potential misleading set-up for Season Two that could leave a viewer unpleasantly surprised. Maybe that’s not a bad thing per se, but I always feel a little cheated when I realize a DVD doesn’t reproduce a product in its entirety. Still, aside from this one flaw, this DVD and series are as close to perfect as anyone could ever ask for.

I anxiously await the beautiful April spring day when When Calls The Heart rejoins the TV airwaves. Until then, if you’ve not had the privilege of viewing this remarkable series, I encourage you to take a look at these DVD releases and catch up on all you’ve missed!

Prelude to a Kiss pic— Dawn Teresa


4.5 of 5 Hearts. Outstanding Episodes but DVD Marred by Deletion of Significant Scene.

When Calls The Heart: Rules of Engagement ties a beautiful bow on what was an altogether too brief first season. The combined cast continues to raise the bar, setting up great expectations for the second season. The only disappointment was the deletion of a key final scene. While I’d like to erase that scene from the books given the chance, the DVD feels incomplete without it.

*Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received the above DVD for free from Edify Media in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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