Director: Michael Landon Jr.
Writer: Janette Oke, Michael Landon Jr.
Stars: Maggie Grace, Stephen Amell, Poppy Drayton, Daniel Sharman, Cherie Lunghi
Countries: Canada, Romania, United States
In 1910, Elizabeth Thatcher is a Canadian woman from an affluent family. Her father is a shipping magnate, but Elizabeth has chosen a career as a school teacher for herself. She eagerly waits for her first assignment, and is disappointed to learn that they are sending her to Coal Valley, Alberta. It is a tiny coal-mining town in the westernmost areas of the Canadian frontier, and life there is far more spartan than what Elizabeth is used to. Elizabeth has little trouble charming the locals but is disliked by another newcomer to town: Constable Jack Thornton of the Royal North West Mounted Police. He was assigned there after Elizabeth’s father pulled some strings, apparently to ensure the safety of Elizabeth. Jack feels that this is a dead-end to his career, and is quite angry about it. Coal Valley has recently lost about 50 miners in a serious mining accident. The widows of the dead are increasingly forced to replace them as workers, and Abigail Stanton (the foreman’s widow) seems to be gaining a leadership position. The survival of the town increasingly depends on its female workforce.