MADMAX

Stranger ThingsHanging out at the local arcade as in fall 1984 is a perfectly ordinary activity, unless you live in Hawkins, Indiana and your name is Will Byers and it’s been a year since the most terrifying experience of your life. One moment he feels like a storm is brewing outside the arcade, the next moment he – and the arcade – are in the Upside Down, and the storm clouds part to reveal an enormous spider-like creature. And then, just as suddenly, Will is back among his friends, who are more interested in who has beaten Dustin’s high scores and left only the name “MADMAX”. By coincidence, the boys have a new classmate named Maxine (though she prefers to go by Max); when they try to find out more about her, she leaves them a note to leave her alone…not that this discourages Justin or Lucas. Will’s mother takes him to Hawkins National Lab to speak to a doctor there about his recent experience; both Will and Joyce have to be reassured that the lab is under new management, and Dr. Owens is looking out for Will. Another vision of the Upside Down, this time longer and scarier, grips Will. Elsewhere, Police Chief Jim Hopper has a dinner guest with a liking for Eggos.

written by Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer
directed by Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer
music by Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon

Stranger ThingsCast: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schanpp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Dacre Montgomery (Billy), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), Sean Astin (Bob Newby), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Linnea Berthelsen (Roman), Joe Chrest (Ted Wheeler), Catherine Curtin (Claudia Henderson), Brett Gelman (Murray Bauman), Kai L. Greene (Funshine), Randy Havens (Mr. Clarke), James Landry Hebert (Axel), Anna Jacoby-Heron (Dottie), Gabrielle Maiden (Mick), Rob Morgan (Officer Powell), Chelsea Talmadge (Carol), Glennellen Anderson (Nicole), Cynthia Barrett (Mrs. Holland), Alan Boell (Adams), Gilbert Glenn Brown (Cop #4), Matty Cardarople (Keith), Madelyn Cline (Tina), Abigail Cowan (Vicki), Brian F. Durkin (Cop #1), Joe Davison (Nerdy Tech), Lauren Halperin (Dr. Owens’ Assistant), Christopher Johnson (Cop #2), Fenton Lawless (Merril), Charles Lawlor (Mr. Medvald), David A. MacDonald (Flamethrower Soldier), Aaron Munoz (Mr. Holland), Tinsley Price (Holly Wheeler), Susan Shalhoub Larkin (Florence), Tony Vaughn (Principal Coleman), Ricardo Miguel Young (TV Reporter)

Stranger ThingsNotes: Everything about the arcade feels spot-on, such as Dragon’s Lair taking the world by storm in 1984, but one minor detail had to be changed for the story to work: neither Centipede nor Dig Dug allowed more than three characters on their high score screens. Neither game would have had room for “MADMAX” or “DUSTIN” on their high score tables. Paul Reiser isn’t just the Mad About You guy or the My Two Dads guy; his role as Burke in 1986’s Aliens gives him some serious genre cred.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Trick Or Treat, Freak

Stranger Things1983: Having used her powers to defeat the demogorgon, Eleven finds herself alone in the Upside Down version of the high school. She follows the sound of echoing voices until she finds an exit to the school in normal space. The gateway closes behind her and she tries to return to Mike’s house, only to find it surrounded by police and federal agents.

Halloween, 1984: Eleven has been secretly living with Chief Hopper since her return from the Upside Down. She proposes a reunion with her friends, none of whom know she survived, under cover of trick-or-treating, but Hopper flatly refuses: she has to stay in hiding. Mike’s older sister Nancy is wracked with guilt over the disappearance of Barb a year ago, while her boyfriend Steve would rather forget everything that happened and never mention it again. A simmering feud between two local farmers annoys Hopper, until he learns that every farm in Hawkins is suffering from the same problem – crops rotting in place. Will’s visions of the Upside Down continue, each one more terrifying than the last, even as he and his friends go trick-or-treating dressed as the Ghostbusters. Eleven tries to reach out to Mike, to no avail. And something lurks in the garbage can at Dustin’s house.

written by Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer
directed by Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer
music by Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon

Stranger ThingsCast: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schanpp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Dacre Montgomery (Billy), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), Sean Astin (Bob Newby), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Joe Chrest (Ted Wheeler), Catherine Curtin (Claudia Henderson), Rob Morgan (Officer Powell), Shannon Purser (Barbara Holland), John Reynolds (Officer Callahan), Chester Rushing (Tommy H.), strong>Chelsea Talmadge (Carol), Sam Ashby (Werewolf), Lynne Ashe (Happy Homeowner), Tonya Bludsworth (Government Agent #1), Danny Boyd Jr. (Grandkid), Karen Ceesay (Mrs. Sinclair), Madelyn Cline (Tina), Jim E. Chandler (Government Agent #2), Joe Davison (Nerdy Tech), Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair), Shea Jones (Goth Girl Samantha), John Paul Martson (Government Agent #4), Shannon Mayers (Government Agent #5), Al Mitchell (Eugene), Cameron Newton (Jason Voorhees), Desmond Phillips (Government Agent #6), Cody Land Pressley (Drunk Teen #1), Tinsley Price (Holly Wheeler), Alex Van (Hunter), Andrew Wilson Williams (Scary Clown), and Toasty the Squirrel

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Pollywog

Stranger Things1983: Finding Eleven in the woods after her escape from the Upside Down, Chief Hopper all but adopts her. They clean up a cabin in the woods that belonged to Hopper’s grandfather, where he promises she will be safe. Basic ground rules are set: she’s to keep the windows and doors closed, and never leave the cabin. As long as she can abide by those rules, and stay out of sight, Hopper promises the “bad men” can’t hurt her again.

Halloween, 1984: Returning home from trick-or-treating, Dustin finds a snail-like creature in his family’s trash can, and promptly does what any kid dressed as a Ghostbuster would do: he puts it in the “ghost trap” that’s part of his costume. When he shows it to his friends, though, Will Byers has a visceral reaction – he’s seen something like this before. Still, Dustin seems to think that the creature is his new pet. Eleven decides that she’s fed up with Chief Hopper’s house rules and her isolation. Bob, Joyce Byers’ boyfriend, tries to befriend Will and give him advice on how to deal with his fears, but only too late as Joyce spots in the background of the VHS tape of the boys’ trick-or-treating the same enormous, multi-legged creature that has shown up in Will’s drawings. It’s that same creature that Will sees approaching him after a second close brush with Dustin’s new pet leaves him in the Upside Down…

written by Justin Doble
directed by Shawn Levy
music by Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon

Stranger ThingsCast: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schanpp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Dacre Montgomery (Billy), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), Sean Astin (Bob Newby), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Catherine Curtin (Claudia Henderson), Randy Havens (Mr. Clarke), Rob Morgan (Officer Powell), John Reynolds (Officer Callahan), Chester Rushing (Tommy H.), Sam Ashby (Werewolf), Lynne Ashe (Happy Homeowner), Cynthia Barrett (Mrs. Holland), Harper Cavanaugh (Young Girl on Swingset), Abigail Cowan (Vicki), Bethany DeZelle (Mother at Swingset), Cameron Newton (Jason Voorhees), Suzanne Jordan Roush (Doris, High School Receptionist), Drew Scheid (Sweaty Teen Boy), Susan Shalhoub Larkin (Florence), Christi Waldon (Marissa), Andrew Wilson Williams (Scary Clown), Donna Wright (Elderly Math Teacher)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Will The Wise

Stranger ThingsJoyce pulls up to the school in a panic as Will’s friends watch him standing in an almost comatose state in the middle of the school football field. As far as any of them know, Will is having another “episode”. What they don’t know is that, in the Upside Down, some sort of supernatural force is attacking Will – not so much consuming him as inhabiting him. He awakens with fragmented memories of what happened to him in the Upside Down, and Joyce and Chief Hopper try to jog his memory. Will draws something on dozens of pieces of paper, which form a maze when Joyce and Hopper assemble them. Hopper deduces that Will has drawn a series of vines, and goes to check his hypothesis. Dustin checks on his new pet, which he has named D’Artagnan, only to discover that it’s a bouncing baby demogorgon.

written by Paul Dichter
directed by Shawn Levy
music by Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon

Stranger ThingsCast: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schanpp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Dacre Montgomery (Billy), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), Sean Astin (Bob Newby), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Catherine Curtin (Claudia Henderson), Joe Chrest (Ted Wheeler), Randy Havens (Mr. Clarke), Aimee Mullins (Terry Ives), Chester Rushing (Tommy H.), James DuMont (Middle Aged Man), Drew Scheid (Sweaty Teen Boy), Susan Shalhoub Larkin (Florence), David A. MacDonald (Flamethrower Soldier)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Dig Dug

Stranger ThingsAfter digging a hole in the ground near the epicenter of Hawkins’ rotting crops, Chief Hopper has stumbled upon a new entrance to the Upside Down…which then seals itself behind him with a thick web of vines. Vines inside the tunnel-like passage start to envelop him. Lucas tries to tell Max the truth of what happened in Hawkins a year ago, but has a hard time convincing her that this knowledge is dangerous. Dustin decides D’Artagnan has overstayed his welcome. Eleven goes to find her mother, but discovers much more than that. At Joyce’s house, it takes a fresh pair of eyes – namely, her boyfriend Bob – to point out that Will’s labyrinthine drawing corresponds to a map of Hawkins. From this, they’re able to find Hopper’s truck, and set out to rescue Hopper himself. But vans from Hawkins National Labs appear as well, and men in hazmat suits armed with flamethrowers begin trying to beat back the spread of the Upside Down. But as the vines scream in agony, so does Will Byers.

written by Jessie Nickson-Lopez
directed by Andrew Stanton
music by Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon

Stranger ThingsCast: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schanpp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Dacre Montgomery (Billy), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), Sean Astin (Bob Newby), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Matthew Modine (Dr. Martin Brenner), Joe Chrest (Ted Wheeler), Catherine Curtin (Claudia Henderson), Brett Gelman (Murray), Aimee Mullins (Terry Ives), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Ray), Amy Seimetz (Becky Ives), Kerry Cahill (Staff Nurse Caitlin), Matty Cardarople (Keith), Karen Ceesay (Mrs. Sinclair), Cory Chapman (Lab Technician), Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair), Paul Vincent Freeman (Security Guard), Virginia Kirby (Motel Owner), Arnell Powell (Mr. Sinclair), Ben Taylor (Friendly Trucker)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Spy

Stranger ThingsWill and Hopper are rushed to Hawkins National Labs. While Hopper is sprayed down for toxic chemicals, Will screams as if he’s on fire. A later experiment shows that Will has a link to the Upside Down: the attempts to beat the Upside Down back into submission with fire causes Will unimaginable pain. The unlikely duo of Steve Harrington and Dustin go looking for D’Artagnan, who couldn’t even be contained in Dustin’s family’s storm shelter. They’re later joined by Max and Lucas, who has promised that this will prove to Max that everything he has told her about Hawkins is real. Steve risks his own skin to invite D’Artagnan to dinner, but the creature suddenly bolts away. Armed soldiers descend into the Upside Down, but can they do anything to it or its inhabitants without
killing Will Byers?

written by Kate Trefry
directed by Andrew Stanton
music by Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon

Stranger ThingsCast: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schanpp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Dacre Montgomery (Billy), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), Sean Astin (Bob Newby), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Brett Gelman (Murray), Helen Abell (Radar Tech), Brian Brightman (MP Guard #1), Kristopher Charles (MP Guard #2), Joe Davison (Nerdy Tech), Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair), Sheena Kharazhi (Exam Room Nurse), Mary Kraft (ER Doctor), Brian LaFontaine (Doctor #2), Wendel A. Matthews (Lead Rift Soldier), Brandon O’Neill (Neurologist), Vince Pisani (Doctor #1), Michael Shienefelt (Rift Soldier #2)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Lost Sister

Stranger ThingsFinding further clues among her mother’s papers about children in and around Hawkins who disappeared at roughly the same time as Hawkins National Labs began experimenting with boosting the power of the human mind, Eleven learns that her aunt is selling her out and escapes to catch a bus to Chicago to search for what she believes is her “lost sister”. She meets Kali in Chicago, a young woman of roughly the same age with similar abilities. Kali is the de facto leader of a gang of mentally unstable criminals, and she directs her powers toward the goal of hunting down everyone involved with her kidnapping as an infant. She convinces Eleven to join her, and they set out to avenge themselves upon a man who, in the early 1970s, was a security guard at Hawkins National Labs. Kali is prepared to kill him, like she’s killed others before him…but she insists that Eleven do the honors instead, to prove her loyalty.

written by Justin Doble
directed by Rebecca Thomas
music by Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon

Stranger ThingsCast: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schanpp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Dacre Montgomery (Billy), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), Sean Astin (Bob Newby), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Matthew Modine (Dr. Martin Brenner), Linnea Berthelsen (Kali), Kai L. Greene (Funshine), James Landry Hebert (Axel), Anna Jacoby-Heron (Dottie), Gabrielle Maiden (Mick), Aimee Mullins (Terry Ives), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Ray), Amy Seimetz (Becky Ives), Avis-Marie Barnes (Elderly Woman), Alan Boell (Adams), Keith Brooks (Gas Station Clerk), Paul Vincent Freeman (Security Guard), Jarrett Michael (SWAT Member #1), Vanathi Kalai Parthiban (young Kali), Thomas Tull (Man on Street), Wes Kidd (SWAT Member #2), P.J. McDonnell (Mentally Ill Man)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Mind Flayer

Stranger ThingsDemogorgons pour into the observation area where Hawkins National Lab personnel can keep an eye on the Upside Down. Despite assurances that the special glass will hold, they keep coming. Hopper races back to the hospital area just in time to carry Will to safety, with his friends and family in tow. Demogorgons burst into every room of the complex, and despite the secure doors and armed guards, they keep coming. Hopper and the others are within seconds of safety when a demogorgon attacks and kills Joyce’s boyfriend, and they keep coming. It’s now obvious that Will is, either unwillingly or unaware, a spy for the Upside Down. A way has to be found to communicate with him, without letting him know where he is, but even something as innocuous as a ringing phone gives his location away, and this is communicated to the demogorgons, and they keep coming. Besieged in a house that could easily be surrounded on all sides, Hopper takes up arms to protect his cohorts from a simple knock at the door.

written by Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer
directed by Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer
music by Michael Stein & Kyle Dixon

Stranger ThingsCast: Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Noah Schanpp (Will Byers), Sadie Sink (Max), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Dacre Montgomery (Billy), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), Sean Astin (Bob Newby), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Will Chase (Neil Hargrove), Helen Abell (Radar Tech), Brian Brightman (MP Guard #1), Kristopher Charles (MP Guard #2), Joe Davison (Nerdy Tech), Jennifer Marshall (Susan Hargrove)

LogBook entry by Earl Green