Netstuff: Stranger Things premieres with “Sacred Cow”

Stranger Things is the brainchild of writer/director Earl Newton. With the help of some very talented people, Earl has created a free monthly television series that can be downloaded with software like Democracy and iTunes and viewed on your PC, iPod, or other media player.

Each month, Stranger Things will present a 30-minute story “about ordinary people stumbling into the secret worlds of the demons, aliens, shamans, and angels. The stories expose the bizarre and the extraordinary things happening all around us, everyday.”

The first episode, “Sacred Cow”, is based on an original story by Scott Sigler, author of the podcast novels Earthcore, Ancestor, Infection and The Rookie. In the realm of podcast novels, Sigler is arguably king; he was recently featured in a New York Times online article ((Newman, Andrew Adam. “Authors Find Their Voice, and Audience, in PodcastsNew York Times 1 March 2007. 1 March 2007)) about Podiobooks.com, where his first three novels are available as free, serialized downloads. If you’re the type who prefers ink-and-paper novels, Earthcore is available in paperback and Ancestor is slated to be released in paperback next month.

Gordo Gordon (David Chancellor) is an autistic genius who has been in the care of Father Ralph Antonini (Elliot Stegall) for the past twenty years. When Gordo learns of research proving that prayer causes specific chemical changes in the brain, he creates a device that can “see” and record the flow of energy created when the parishioners in Fr. Antonini’s church pray during mass.

When Gordo discovers that the prayer energy is focused upward by the high, pointed ceiling in the church, his quest to discover where the energy goes uncovers a horrible truth that could undermine the faith of billions around the world.

“Sacred Cow” is an excellent debut for Stranger Things, showcasing the level of quality that Newton and company can deliver. From a disturbing story to fantastic special effects, an eerie theme song by cellist Zoe Keating and solid performances by the cast, the show’s production value rivals that of most anything found on network television today. I’ll definitely be tuning in next month for the second episode, titled “Discontent”, about a man whose wife wants him to clone her dead mother.