Warning: this article contains spoilers galore for the whole of Stranger Things season 1
Netflix's glorious '80s sci-fi nostalgia trip Stranger Things continues to generate lots of excited chatter, most of which revolves around the fate of one specific character - Barb. The nerdy, big-glasses-wearing pal of the conventionally good-looking lead, it was only a matter of time before she bumped into the Demogorgon down a dark alley. Or in her case, on a diving board in a suburban backyard. Her grisly demise is confirmed in the penultimate episode of season 1, as we're shown her corpse complete with a.... You know it's just easier if l use a screenshot. Ok, here's Barb as seen on TV:
That's gross, right? I mean, proper vomiting inducing. But thanks to an in-depth chat ScreenCrush had with the show's design team, we've come to learn that Barb's original fate was much, much worse. Here's what the folks at Aaron Sims Creative planned to do to Barb in their first pitch:
Not to sound like a broken record, but that's gross, right? "Based on our original discussion with the Duffers on this design," the team explains, "we wanted to go really graphic with it to highlight the horrific aspects of Barb being eaten, and something then growing on top of her - thus, the ribs poking out of her stomach in the first shot."
There's definitely an H.R. Giger vibe to this, much like part of the Demogorgon's physique and the whole egg thing. Broken ribs bursting outwards is very reminiscent of an Aliens' chest-burster victim. That second image, showing that something growing on top of her takes that one step farther, but alas it was a little too abstract for the show's creators who chose to scale it back.
“In the final design, they ended up veering away from that because it became too unrecognizable,” Sims tells the site. “It was difficult to tell exactly what had happened to her; it wasn’t an issue of it being too graphic, but rather, that the viewer needed to see something that was very recognizably dead.”
It might just be me, but I think Barb looks recognizably dead in all of these images.
Images: Aaron Sims Company, Netflix