New Stranger Things 4 images are missing one key ingredient

Eleven, Mike and Will look shocked in this image from Stranger Things 4
Yep, we're as shocked as you are by this Stranger Things 4 revelation. (Image credit: Netflix)

A batch of new Stranger Things 4 images have been released online – but there's one notable absence from these dozen brand-new photographs.

Released on Netflix's various social media channels on March 23, the collection of images tease the various team ups we'll be seeing in Stranger Things season 4. Curiously, though, there's one vital ingredient missing in each of the stills – and it may hint at the direction that the wildly popular Netflix show's story is going to go in.

Firstly, check out the new images in the Twitter thread below:

Based on the newly released pictures, it seems that Stranger Things' main players are going to have a plethora of mysteries to solve in the show's next instalment, which is set six months after the third season.

We see Winona Ryders' Joyce Byers and Brett Gelman's Murray Bauman are heading to Russia to rescue David Harbour's Jim Hopper. As Stranger Things fans will remember, Hopper is imprisoned in Russia following the season 3 finale, so the duo will be hopping (see what we did there?) on a plane to break him out.

Additionally, we see other prominent characters investigating Creel House – one of Stranger Things 4's new locations, which we've seen in one of the teaser trailers and official posters – and get our first proper looks at new cast regulars in Eduardo Franco's Argyle and Joseph Quinn's Eddie Munson.

While that's all great to see, there's one notable absence from these images: the Upside Down and, by proxy, the monsters that inhabit it. So, where is it?

Analysis: will the Upside Down feature in Stranger Things 4?

Steve, Dustin, Max, and Robin looking surprised at a computer screen in Stranger Things 4

Searching for the Upside Down in those Stranger Things 4 images... (Image credit: Netflix)

It is unusual that the first official images for the show's fourth season don't actually give any indication that we'll revisit the Upside Down. There is one image, which you can see below, that looks like it could be set in the Upside Down – based on the color hue and saturation, anyway. But it's unclear if this particular scene is situated in the Upside Down.

Steve, Eddie, Robin, and Nancy seemingly encounter a monster in Stranger Things 4

How many Stranger Things characters will potentially cross over into the Upside Down in season 4? (Image credit: Netflix)

That said, we're absolutely certain that the Upside Down will feature in Stranger Things 4. 

There's no way that we'll get a new season of Stranger Things without one of its key locations figuring in some capacity. We already know that we'll be seeing one creature from the Upside Down - the Demogorgon – in season 4 after one made an appearance in the season 3 finale's post-credits scene. So that's one major link to the Upside Down.

Stranger Things 4's official posters also heavily suggest that the show's main cast will be traveling to the Upside Down at some point. The quarter of one sheets show our heroes walking towards portals to the Upside Down, so expect them to enter this horror-infused alternate dimension in the show's next instalment.

Given that Stranger Things season 4 will, funnily enough, be set across four locations – Creel House, Hawkins Laboratory, California, and the unnamed Russian prison camp – though, the Upside Down will be competing with these settings for screen time.

Stranger Things' creators – the Duffer brothers – have confirmed that season 4 will be the longest entry yet, so the Upside Down won't be fully relegated to the side lines. Still, with the fourth season comprising multiple locations, it may not feature as prominently (at least in earlier episodes) as in previous entries. And that would be a significant divergence from Stranger Things story threads that have come before.

For more Netflix content, check out the 10 biggest shows on Netflix right now, as well as why we think Netflix's new password surcharge is just the tip of an expensive iceberg.

Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 will launch exclusively on Netflix on May 27. Meanwhile, volume 2 will arrive just over a month later on July 1.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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