Almost three years after Stranger Things' third season premiered on Netflix, season four is finally here.
With the pandemic causing production to be shut down for over six months in mid-2020, the fourth season has had a long and arduous journey to the screen - one impatiently anticipated by fans.
Netflix also made the unexpected decision to split season four into two parts, with the first seven episodes now available while the final two - including a season finale clocking in at almost two-and-a-half hours - will drop on July 1.
So, was Volume 1 worth the wait? Yes, albeit with some fairly major qualifications.
Fans of the show will of course simply love to be in the company of these characters yet again, and the Duffer Brothers certainly deserve credit for refusing to rest on their laurels with this bold and often unexpected season.
But far from every creative gamble ends up paying off, as this nine-hour first volume often feels like an over-indulgent endurance trial likely to test the patience of all but the most forgiving fan.
There's a lot to love here, and it'll surely leave fans on tenterhooks for the final two episodes in July, but it's very, very far from perfect. Further to that end, here's where Volume 1 stumbles...