"Eleven, are you listening?" comes the ominous voice of the character Stranger Things fans have known and hated since 2016: the one Millie Bobby Brown's character Eleven called Papa, the one who broke her trust, the one we know as Dr. Martin Brenner of Hawkins Laboratory. And according to a cryptic new teaser for Stranger Things season 4, it looks like he's back.
A clock is ticking, cameras are watching, and children are doing their best to play games in the claustrophobic hospital with Matthew Modine's Brenner wishing them a good morning and saying he has something "very special" planned for them. But if the creepy colour palette, heart-pumping score and nervous breathing is anything to go by, this isn't necessarily a good thing.
We've been eagerly awaiting news of the fourth season of Stranger Things for over a year now, since the pandemic derailed the show's filming plans more than once. It's certainly been underway for a while, but there had been no sign of any release dates to look forward to. And there isn't technically one confirmed yet, but the official Stranger Things social media accounts are teasing "002/004" on every possible platform. Is this a release date? Or a nod to children, like Eleven who went by "011", who we'll meet under Brenner's clutches in the new season?
There's still little to go off in the way of plot, as we hold onto the tagline of Stranger Things 4 which reads "We're not in Hawkins anymore", set to pick up where the end of season 3 left off, with Joyce (Winona Ryder) moving her family out of the small Indiana town where the series had mostly been set. But we know Ryder will be returning – as will most of the main cast, including, crucially, David Harbour's Hopper, around whom there remains a major question mark since the end of the last season. Hopefully, this new teaser is the first of many set to answer our questions.