Originally published on Set The Tape
Set in the winter of 1983, the first season of Stranger Things follows the disappearance of a young boy, a girl with mysterious powers, and monsters from another world. The story begins at the Department of Energy laboratory in the small town of Hawkins, where an experiment gone wrong has unleashed a monster. Whilst riding his bike home after playing with his friends Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, 12-year-old Will Buyers encounters the creature and vanishes. Discovering her son is missing, Joyce Buyers appeals to the local police chief Jim Hopper to find her son.
Searching the woods for their friend Mike, Dustin, and Lucas stumble across a young girl in a hospital gown. Bringing the girl back to Mike’s home the three of them find out that the girl, called Eleven, not only recognises a photo of the missing Will, but possesses telekinetic powers.
Meanwhile, Will’s older brother Jonathan is searching for signs of his missing brother when he stumbles across Mike’s older sister Nancy and her friend Barb partying at a friends house. When on her own Barb vanishes in the same way that Will did, only to awaken in a strange dark and decaying version of our world, where she is attacked by the creature.
Whilst searching the Energy lab for signs of Will, Hopper discovers that the security tape he has been shown is fake and begins to suspect a cover-up. Meanwhile, Joyce has begun to make contact with Will using Christmas lights, which Will can turn on and off to send messages to his mother.
Realising that Barb is missing, Nancy searches for her friend, but catches sight of the mysterious creature. At the same time the body of Will is discovered drowned in a quarry. After viewing the body Joyce refuses to believe that her son is dead and continues to use Christmas lights to speak to him. Shortly after a strange tear appears in her wall, where she can see Will on the other side before the creature appears.
Eleven uses a walkie-talkie to contact Mike to prove to the boys that their friend is still alive, spurring them on to continue their search for him. Discovering that Jonathan took photographs of her and Barb the night she vanished Nancy discovers a mysterious figure in one of the photos that matches the description of the creature that Joyce saw chasing Will.
Hopper breaks his way into the local morgue, where he discovers that Will’s body is a fake, one that he suspects was placed in the quarry by the same people hiding evidence at the Energy lab. Breaking into the lab Hopper discovers a strange portal before being knocked out and returned home.
Eleven reveals to the boys that Will is stuck in a parallel world called the Upside Down and agrees to help the three of them find a way to save him. Realising that the government are after Eleven the boys tell Joyce and Hopper everything they know about the mystery. Together, the two of them return to the Energy lab and enter the Upside Down to Search for Will.
When the creature returns to the real world Eleven attacks the monster with her powers to save her friends, vanishing with the creature as she sends it back to the Upside Down. In the other dimension Joyce and Hopper manage to find will and rescue him.
Back in the real world, Will recovers in hospital. However, it appears that his experience in the Upside Down has affected him as he can still see the other world, and has begun vomiting strange slug like creatures.
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