Stranger Things has finally hit our screens and the return to Hawkins has been the wildest yet.
After promises of this season being the most bizarre yet, and being ‘out of this world’, the thrilling sci-fi series follows a new ‘war’ for Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and the rest of the Hawkins gang, and, nearly three years since the last season, is just as scary as we’d expect, with a new gruesome villain known as Vecna.
Despite being the penultimate season of the hit series, the fourth series is actually the longest yet, with nine episodes across the instalment.
Volume I, which dropped today, released seven episodes, and Volume II, due in July, will contain the final two.
Promising that the epic season will contain two feature length episodes, creator Matt Duffer teased: ‘[Episodes] seven and nine in particular are movies. And nine is a long movie.’
His brother Ross added that the latter ‘is over two hours’, as he promised The Wrap: ‘It’s a big one.’
The siblings explained they were initially going with eight episodes for the upcoming run, but they had too much to fit in.
Matt told Collider: ‘I think we were at least halfway, but I think probably over halfway through this season, were trying to squeeze the story in, and we sat down with our writers, and we said, “I don’t think this is feasible in eight episodes”.
‘So we went to Netflix and said, “Hey, are you okay if we do one more episode?”, and luckily they were very supportive of that, but that’s how we ended up with that extra episode.
‘But it was not originally planned that way. It wasn’t outlined that way. It was always going to be eight. And then it just ended up being too much story.’
‘A lot of it had to do with the fact that we had characters spread out in three locations and we had a lot more plot,’ Matt told The Wrap.
‘It must be quadruple the plot we had in season three. That was our fun blockbuster season. This season we knew that season five was going to be our last, we had to start revealing a lot.’
He added: ‘The more we were writing, the more we realised we need more time in order for these reveals to land, in order for these storylines to work.’
In an open letter to fans, the Duffer Brothers confirmed last month that there will be a fifth chapter, but it will mark the end of the saga, with the upcoming fourth instalment airing in two parts.
They shared: ‘With nine scripts, over 800 pages and almost two years of filming, thousands of visual effects shots, and a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season, Stranger Things 4 was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one.
‘Everyone involved is incredibly proud of the results, and we can’t wait to share it with you.’
Stranger Things season 4 part 1 is available to stream on Netflix now.