Another center piece of Stranger Things is the concept of multiple worlds lying right on top of one another although none can be detected by the other. Mike’s teacher brings up the work of Hugh Everts ”Many Worlds Interpretations.” His teacher goes on to say there are parallel universes an infinite number of them, just like ours, only slight variations in each of them. Mike’s teacher explains to them to get to the upside down they need to create a massive amount of energy to create a tear in time and space and then they create a gateway. In the case of the series the other world is the Upside-Down.
The Upside-Down is a darker, inverted version of Mike’s reality that exists in an invisible dimension that lies over top of “regular” reality. Those caught in the Upside-Down can scream out in fear or pain and echoes of their cries can be dimly sensed from loved ones. Will’s mother is Joyce, has such a bond she is saying, “I just know he’s here.” In a way she is correct. He is there in the Upside-Down.
The portal itself is rimmed with a dark, jelly-like organic material reminiscent of a hungry hell mouth. They send an agent into the portal. He tears away at the fatty, opaque guts of the opening and goes in with a lab suit attached to a cable line and radio communication. They eventually hear the agent scream and then they lose communication. They try to pull him back with the cable but nothing is left but a bloody stump.
Dreaming of Electric Sheep
The series captures a darker side of the 80’s by touching on the suburban paranoia over a rash of high profile kidnapping. The situation was exacerbated by a viewer hungry media. One of the more famous was the Johnny Gosh case. Crossing paths at this time were frequent accusations underground colonies of devil worshippers that surfaced in court and gave rise to mental health professionals battling between false memories and real ones.
Electricity is another major focus. Joyce is convinced communication to her son comes from electricity. At one point the lights dim and she receives a noisy, static phone call from what she believes is Will. She strings her house up in Christmas lights, forming a rudimentary communication system. Soon the colored lights shine in seemingly random fashion. Until Joyce grabs a handful of white Christmas lights and asks if Will is there. They shine at her request. She asks “blink once for yes and twice for no.” Alive = yes. Safe = No. Eventually she forms an alphabet on the wall that reminds of a Ouija board with a corresponding light for each letter to better communicate with Will.
Everyone keeps telling Joyce it’s in her head. PSYOP’s operations often immobilize victims by making them appear insane to those around them. Even Will’s deadbeat father suggests it in her head.
Calling Me in Others People’s Memory
I could go on about so much more with Stranger Things. The weaving of such rich subjects was almost seamless. Truly one of the better series I’ve seen on all the internet channels I subscribe to.
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