The creators of Stranger Things have assured fans that the second season has replicated "the mojo" of the original series, and is "every bit as loyal" to the much-loved characters.
"The Duffers [creators Matt and Ross] and I are slightly superstitious, so it was important to us that we replicate the mojo of season one, which meant the brothers kicked things off with episode one and two and then I do three and four," executive producer and director Shawn Levy told the Hollywood Reporter. "The first four episodes are exactly like season one."
The Duffer brothers revealed that the foreboding Upside Down will play "a major role in the upcoming season," with Matt adding: "The gate to the Upside Down in the last season was not closed, it is still there."
Noah Schnapp hinted that his character Will—who was trapped in the frightening dimension for most of season 1—didn't escape completely unscathed.
"You can see in the second season how the Upside Down affected Will," the young star said. "He is definitely holding back on what happens to him and keeps everything in."
Meanwhile, Levy suggested that the key to the show's success and critical acclaim is down to the "damaged characters" that viewers connect with, and can't help but root for.
"There's a lot of talk about the move to darker threats and larger cinematic scale, but here's the thing: Stranger Things works because we root for these kids and we root for these damaged characters that live on the margins," he went on.
"No one in the show is like a perfect, popular winner, everyone is struggling with the bit of that feeling of being on the outside looking in, and that's true of the teenagers, the adults, and the kids, and we know that what brought us here is characters that people connect to and feel authentic and that you root for, so season 2 is every bit as loyal to character first."
David Harbour—who plays the charismatic Chief Hopper—also teased: "There's a lot more unraveling of our story."
Netflix's Stranger Things season 2 returns to Netflix on October 31.