“Stranger Things” series airs Friday

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

You might spot some familiar landmarks during this weekend’s Netflix binge.

All eight episodes of the new series “Stranger Things,” produced exclusively for Netflix, will be made available online Friday, July 15.

The show is set in 1983 in Hawkins, Indiana. Given the time period, it is apparent why one particular location in Stockbridge was appealing to producers.

In the official trailer released several weeks ago on YouTube, the first 15 seconds show images of “Hawkins High School” and “Hawkins Middle School” that are both obviously the former Patrick Henry Academy campus, also known to long-time Henry County residents as the original Stockbridge High School campus.

Last September local residents learned about the production when the company reached an agreement with the Henry County Board of Education to pay $78,140 for use of the campus, which was to portray three different schools in the series. School system officials said at the time that the facility’s more dated look made it a good fit for the show.

For scenes depicting downtown Hawkins the producers went only a few miles south to Jackson.

The cast includes Winona Ryder and David Harbour as well as a number of young actors. The show was created by Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, whose most recent credits include the FOX TV series “Wayward Pines.”

Here is a synopsis of the storyline from its IMDB listing:

“A strange town where everyone knows everyone is subject to a peculiar incident. The town then undergoes a state of panic, before the government becomes involved. Also, there's a clueless but charming sheriff, who is simply trying to get the town back into control while a smarter character figures out the mystery.”

A review on the Deadline website called the show a “nothing if not a surprising, sometimes scary, moving and successful homage to the era of Spielberg’s ET and the 1980s themselves — as well as the films of the great John Carpenter.”