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Excitement is building for When Hope Calls Season 2. The When Calls the Heart spinoff series returns on Dec. 18 with a Christmas special that will feature several beloved characters from the original series, including Daniel Lissing’s Jack Thornton. Behind-the-scenes photos and sneak peeks from When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas offer hints about what may be in store for the residents of Brookfield next season. 

Daniel Lissing returns as Jack Thornton in the ‘When Hope Calls’ Christmas special 

Jack was a fan-favorite character on When Calls the Heart, but he was killed off at the end of season 5 after Lissing decided to leave the show. However, Jack will make an unexpected return in When Hope Calls Season 2. 

While details about Lissing’s return are scarce, ET has reported it will be brief, with the actor having a cameo in one scene. But we do know he will be donning his character’s red serge jacket based on a behind-the-scenes photo executive producer Brian Bird shared on Twitter on Dec. 2. 

An earlier photo shared by ET shows Loughlin’s character talking to a Mountie in a red jacket, suggesting that the late Jack comes back in some form to have a conversation with Abigail. Even before Lissing’s return was confirmed, some fans suspected he might be coming back based on a description of the special that noted Abigail would be having “a profound conversation with a dear friend from the past.”

Carter Ryan shares a behind-the-scenes photo from the GAC Family series 

In addition to Loughlin and Lissing, When Calls the Heart alum Carter Ryan will also appear in the When Hope Calls Christmas special. Ryan played Abigail’s adopted son Cody on When Calls the Heart. When her character was written off the show in the wake of the college admissions scandal, his character disappeared from the series. 

On Dec. 2, Ryan took to Twitter to share an image of himself with some of the other young When Hope Calls cast members in costume. “Boys of Brookfield,” he wrote on the image. In A Country Christmas, Abigail and Cody will be visiting Brookfield’s orphanage, and it seems likely the other boys are children in the orphanage.

We’ll also get to see some sweet interactions between Cody and Abigail in When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas. In a clip from the upcoming episode shared by ET (via YouTube), Cody and Abigail talk in front of the town’s Christmas tree. “Nothing has made me happier than being your mom,” she tells him. 

RJ Hatanaka says he’s happy to return to ‘When Hope Calls’ 

RJ Hatanaka as Gabriel Winslow, wearing a white shirt, in 'When Hope Calls' Season 1
RJ Hatanaka in ‘When Hope Calls’ Season 1 | ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Shane Mahood

Meanwhile, some returning When Hope Calls cast members are also getting excited for the new episodes. 

“So happy to pop up north last week, jump into my red serge and spend some time with my buds at #WhenHopeCalls,” RJ Hatanaka, who plays Mountie Gabriel Kinslow, wrote on his Instagram on Oct. 18. “Looking forward to showing you all our new chapter!” 

Hatanaka’s character will be getting some advice from Abigail on choosing the perfect gift for a special someone, as seen in a sneak peek for the Christmas special (via Twitter). 

Other returning When Hope Calls Season 1 actors include Morgan Kohan as Lillian, Wendy Crewson as Tess Stewart, Hanneke Talbot as Maggie Parson, Neil Crone as Ronnie Stewart, and Jefferson Brown as Joe Moody, according to Deadline.

Where to watch ‘When Hope Calls’ Season 2 

Lillian holding a basket and surrounded by orphans in 'When Hope Calls' Season 2 Christmas special
‘When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas’ | GAC Family

Daniel Lissing to Return as Jack Thornton in ‘When Hope Calls’ Season 2, Photo Confirms

Though When Hope Calls Season 1 debuted on Hallmark Movies Now and later aired on Hallmark Channel, the show has moved to the brand-new GAC Family channel for season 2.  

Those eager to see Loughlin, Lissing, and Ryan reprise their When Calls the Heart roles can tune in when When Hope Calls: A Country Christmas airs Saturday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on GAC Family. Canadian viewers can watch the special at the same time on Super Channel Heart & Home.

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