SALT LAKE CITY — On July 15, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries will treat fans to the latest installment of their postal mystery series “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” with the TV movie “Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar.”
The series follows the adventures of a tight-knit group of postal workers who warm hearts by delivering lost mail.
Sometimes an address on an important letter is accidentally left off or rainy conditions make it indecipherable. Sometimes the intended recipient has moved and does not have a forwarding address.
Whatever the reason a letter cannot be delivered, the solution in “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” remains the same: The four devoted employees of the Dead Letter Office — the Post Office department where they work — do all they can to search out clues that make it possible to deliver otherwise undeliverable mail.
“It’s a beautiful family-friendly show about a unique group of postal detectives who still care about the written word and will do whatever it takes to connect people at just the right time,” actress Crystal Lowe wrote in an email to the blog, From the Desk of Kurt Manwaring.
Fans love Lowe for her portrayal of Rita Haywith, a Dead Letter Office detective who has blossomed from a self-conscious co-worker to a strong and confident woman over the course of the four-year-old series. However, if Lowe had made another choice, Rita could easily have been played by someone else.
“I was actually up for another series and had to choose between the two,” Lowe said. “I am so glad I chose (‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’)!”
The show’s infusion of family values is one reason Lowe is confident she made the right choice.
“If you are anything like me, then you are probably exhausted by the gloom and darkness that seems to be taking over our televisions,” she said. “(‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’) will remind you that humans at their core are good, kind and brave and there is a light at the end of the very dark tunnel.”
Kristin Booth plays the role of Shane McInerney — a character who has needed help to see the light at the end of her own tunnel.
“Shane is a technophile and when she is first assigned, accidentally, to the Dead Letter Office she has very little faith in the universe and even less faith in God,” Booth wrote in an email. “As the show has evolved and taken Shane through many different letters with an even more eclectic group of penmen behind them, she has opened her heart and her mind to the possibility of love, trust and the divine.”
Shane and Rita solve clues associated with undelivered letters along with two men, Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson) and Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius).
“(They) work together to deliver lost letters to the right recipient at just the right time all while forming an unbreakable bond that will tear at the heartstrings of even the toughest cynic,” Booth said.
As the quartet investigates each mystery, they learn lessons of faith, love, tolerance and compassion. Their adventures change the lives of the letter receivers and the loving detectives — as well as the fans watching at home.
“(‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’) brings a lesson and positive message in each movie,” said fan Heather Couch on Twitter. “One lesson that I have taken from this amazing show is how God has a purpose in all things we go through.”
“I love a show where everyone is different, quirky, accepting of others, flawed, kind, and above all, respectful,” added another fan, Kaz Francis, on Twitter. “(It’s) a world you would want to live in.”
And of course, many fans believe no world set in the Hallmark universe would be complete without a wedding. In the upcoming movie, “To the Altar,” the cast plans to deliver not only a lost letter — but also a long-awaited union.
“It’s the best! I am just so happy with this episode,” said Lowe, whose character is about to tie the knot. “I feel like Rita and Norman get married in the perfect way. It’s beautiful, touching and will make everyone cry.”
“The letter story is my favorite of all the episodes and films combined,” she added.
Booth agreed. “’To the Altar’ is the best yet! Surely not to be missed,” she said. “I’ve really loved all the movies but this one has touched me more than any of the previous have.”
“The subject matter dealt with here is so important and topical,” Booth continued. “I don’t think there is one person out there that won’t relate to this story on some level. And of course there is a wedding!”
Both actresses hope viewers will join them in their latest adventure.
“As the network hasn’t made a decision on whether or not to renew ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered,’ I want to take this opportunity to thank our incredible fans,” Booth said. “Thank you for coming on this journey with us and I hope the journey will continue beyond ‘To the Altar.’”
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar” airs on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Sunday, July 15, 8 p.m.
* This article originated in the Deseret News on July 14, 2018, and includes “10 questions” interviews with Crystal Lowe and Kristin Booth.