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Stranger Things season 5 episodes will be shorter than season 4's

The show's creators promise a fast-paced opening that picks up on the shock cliffhanger.

Stranger Things cast
Netflix
Published: Tuesday, 5th July 2022 at 11:43 am
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Good news for people with short attention spans: Stranger Things season 5 will have shorter episodes than the plus-sized fourth outing, which ended with an epic two and a half hour finale last week.

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Netflix is estimated to have spent around $270 million on the latest run of episodes, which boasted impressive visual effects and runtimes between 64 and 150 minutes per chapter.

The investment proved to be well worth it, as Stranger Things has smashed viewership records for the streaming service and dominated discussion on social media for the past month.

Therefore, the writers have clarified that a shorter final season is their choice, as opposed to another cutback resulting from Netflix's recent dip in subscribers.

"The only reason we don't expect it to be as long is because if you look at it, it's almost a two-hour ramp-up [in season 4] before our kids really get drawn into the supernatural mystery," said co-creator Matt Duffer on Happy Sad Confused Podcast.

"You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, what they're struggling with, adapting to high school, and so forth. Steve's trying to find a date, all of that. None of that obviously is going to be occurring in the first two episodes of [season 5]."

The co-showrunner teased a brisk pace for the final season, which will be set entirely in Hawkins and pick up from season 4's unnerving cliffhanger ending, which saw The Upside Down finally merge with the regular world.

Duffer added: "For the first time ever, we don't wrap things up at the end of [season] 4, so... it's going to be moving pretty fast. Characters are already going to be in action.

Will, Jonathan, Mike and Argyle in Stranger Things season 4.
Will, Jonathan, Mike and Argyle in Stranger Things season 4 Netflix

"They're already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that's going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different."

Another major plot thread left unresolved by the season 4 finale is the fate of Max Mayfield, who is in critical condition following a nightmarish attack from Vecna, with the Duffers confirming she is alive but "brain dead, blind, and all of her bones are broken".

Despite her extremely serious injuries, readers of RadioTimes.com remain convinced that she will survive her ordeal, according to a recent poll.

Stranger Things seasons 1-4 are available to stream on Netflix. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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