Stranger Things season 2 is almost here, making this year’s Halloween one of the most exciting yet. This creepy and nostalgia-filled Netflix Original show is returning this October to stream or download and after a traumatic season one cliffhanger, everyone is eager to see who will return and what to expect from the second series.
Since this is a Netflix Original series, that means we are going to be treated to the entire season all at once. That’s right, it’s time to clear those calendars for the Halloween weekend because this could be binge viewing at its best.
What do we know so far that has us all excited? The fact that Netflix has increased budget from $6 million per episode to a whopping Game of Thrones-level $8 million per episode is just one good sign. The original cast and crew are also on board to ensure the quality levels stay high.
Here's what you need to know ahead of the Stranger Things season two launch and don't worry, we'll warn of any potential spoilers in the appropriate places.
Will Stranger Things Season 2 be available to stream and download on Netflix?
Yes and yes.
Netflix funded the development of Stranger Things and so the streaming service has exclusive rights to broadcast the show here in the UK as well as globally. That's definitely a good thing as Netflix has a special relationship with its artists, offering plenty of cash backing as well as full creative freedom. The result should be another mind blowing season of Stranger Things, we hope.
And as this is a Netflix Original, you can also happily download each episode to binge on your commutes or travels. Although we'd definitely recommend viewing on as big a screen as possible, to really get pulled in by the dark atmosphere.
Can I watch Stranger Things Season 2 in 4K?
Yes, Stranger Things' second series will be available to watch in glorious 4K Ultra HD resolution. However, you'll need to consider a few things and also pay for the most premium subscription in order to take advantage.
Will Stranger Things Season 2 be released all at once and how many episodes will there be?
You’ll get the whole season two of Stranger Things in one gorgeous helping, from the end of October. That means you can watch them all whenever you want. You could even watch them in reverse order if you were so inclined, in some kind of weird tribute to the Upside Down. Although if you do consider that option, it might be time to seek some help.
Stranger Things season two will consist of nine episodes in total. That might sound like an odd number but it gives us one more than season one offered, so we’re certainly not complaining.
A recent trailer has revealed the episode names for the entire season two. If you don’t want any potential spoilers from what those names might reveal skip on to the next section now.
The season two show names, in order, are: Madmax, The Boy Who Came Back To Life, The Pumpkin Patch, The Palace, The Storm, The Pollywog, The Secret Cabin, The Brain, The Lost Brother.
When is Stranger Things Season 2 coming out in the UK?
While the second series of Stranger Things is clearly a Halloween event, it’s actually coming to us a littler earlier, on Friday October 27. Netflix has cleverly realised that Halloween falls on a Tuesday and nobody wants to face Wednesday at work after an all-night TV binge session, so has treated us all early instead.
So from Friday October 27 the show will be released and - hopefully - the Netflix servers will be able to survive the amount of people streaming it. We wouldn’t be surprised if that weekend breaks some viewing figure records for Netflix.
Stranger Things Season 2: Recap of the first series
If you’ve not seen season one of Stranger Things then you really, really should. Not just to catch up before the new season but because it’s absolutely brilliant. And if you do plan on watching, stop reading this right now, to avoid any spoilers.
Stranger Things season one told the story of a small town called Hawkins where a young boy, Will, went missing in the woods. Local police chief Hopper went in search of the boy while Will's role-play loving friends, Michael, Dustin and Lucas did the same. Unfortunately this proved to be a hopeless task, as Will appeared to be trapped in another world hidden from ours. This was first discovered by his traumatised mother Joyce, with some clever use of Christmas tree lights. She also discovered at the same time that something sinister was trying to break into our world.
A young girl is later found on the run from government agents and it turns out that she, known only as Eleven, was the victim of experiments which have given her strong telekinetic powers. She is also able to connect with the creatures of the other side, a world which becomes known as the Upside Down.
Nancy and Barb, two high school friends, hang out at fellow student Steven’s house where Barb suddenly goes missing, taken by something slightly pant-fillingly terrifying from the Upside Down world. Hopper breaks into the secret government base and manages to get across to the Upside Down, before being captured by the military. He escapes and later returns with Joyce in tow, in hope of finding Will.
All the while, Eleven is on the run from the government with her new friends Michael, Dustin and Lucas - flipping cars and thwarting bullies with her mind powers along the way. The gang submerge Eleven in a salt water pool in the school as a form of sensory deprivation chamber, so she can mentally visit the Upside Down and find Will, guiding Hopper and Joyce to him. Joyce, Hopper and Will all escape back to the real world, slightly shaken but otherwise unharmed - or so we think.
Meanwhile, Steven and Nancy find another way in to try and get Barb back, although they ultimately return empty handed.
The series ends with the school being raided by government agents and the Upside Down creature, known as the Demogorgon, all at once. Eleven uses her mind powers to stop them but essentially explodes into dust. At the very end, we see that Will appears to be unwell - perhaps one of the creatures from the Upside Down came back inside of him, ready to cause havoc in season two.
Will Stranger Things Season 2 be a whole new story, or continue Eleven's adventures?
Officially Netflix has released a short synopsis that reads: "A year after Will’s return, everything seems back to normal… but a darkness lurks just beneath the surface, threatening all of Hawkins."
Moving on to the campaign posters, we can see more images of beasties from the Upside Down, suggesting that world will play a far larger role in this season. Will we see more of Eleven, or is she really gone for good? We really hope she's not dead, although there's been no sign of her in the promo materials so far.
Stranger Things Season 2 new characters: Meet the cast
Stranger Things season two will see several new characters added to the cast list: Roman, Bob Newby, Max, Billy, Dr Owens and Murray Bauman.
Roman is described by Netflix as “an emotionally damaged, magnetic young woman who suffered a great loss as a child. Although she does not live in Hawkins, she is mysteriously connected to the supernatural events at the lab.”
Bob Newby is described as "a kindhearted former nerd who went to highschool with Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) and now manages the local Hawkins RadioShack."
Max is "a tough and confident girl whose appearance, behavior and pursuits seem more typical of boys than of girls in this era. She has a complicated history and is generally suspicious of those around her."
Billy is described as "Max’s hyper-confident, and edgy older step-brother. He steals girlfriends away from their boyfriends, is great at drinking games, and drives a black Camaro. But lurking under his apparent charisma, is a violent and unpredictable nature."
Dr Owens is described as "a high-ranking member within the Department of Energy on a ‘clean-up’ assignment, tasked with containing the events of last year."
Murray Bauman is played by a comedian and described as a "disgraced journalist turned conspiracy theorist who is investigating a cold case in Hawkins".
Stranger Things Season 2 trailer breakdown and theories
Lots of theories have come from the trailers of Stranger Things season two and more specifically from the episode names. Here are some of those which could be classed as spoilers, even though they’re just theories. But if you are avoiding all things spoiler-like, you should probably stop reading now.
A Pollywog, as one episode is named, is actually another name for a tadpole. Remember that slug Will coughed up at the end of season one? Perhaps that’s the start of something that grows to become the Pollywog. It’s likely not a coincidence that the similar-sounding Bullywag is a creature from Dungeons & Dragons that the boys like to play and where the name for the season one monster the Demogorgon comes from. The Bullywag is a “violent race of marsh-dwelling frog-like humans”, according to the game.
The Lost Brother episode name is also interesting and has spawned theories. This could refer to another child that was being experimented on the lab where Eleven developed her powers, or simply be her biological brother.
The main trailer shows the boys back with Ghostbusters outfits on for Halloween trick-or-treating. That, and the political poster in the front garden with the year, confirm that this is set in 1984, a year after the first series took place.
Will is seen in a hospital at one point in the trailer, suggesting the effects of being in the Upside Down are lasting longer than they may have seemed to. But it doesn’t look like a normal hospital bed - is Will developing Eleven-like powers too? The part of the trailer where the boys are gaming shows Will slip into the Upside Down in an instant, showing he has some kind of connection with the realm after his experiences so far.
Fans have also pointed out that the multi-legged creature in the sky appears to be a Thessalhydra from Dungeons & Dragons, meaning a giant multi-headed creature that’s really hard to kill. The fact that the trailer shows the world “turning upside down” nods to the fact that the Upside Down could be spilling out into our real world - expect a lot more scary episodes this season, with some serious grit and violence.
A recent trailer hints at a wider effect on the world had by the events from season one - this talks about effects, but in a half joking way. What’s clear is this will be a far wider phenomenon than just Hawkins in season two.
Will Barb return for Stranger Things season two? A question on many a fan’s lips. The answer, as revealed at Comic Con, is a flat no. Sorry, Barb fans.