What's Up With Stranger Things' Dr. Brenner? Here's What The Creators Told Us

Dr. Martin Brenner Matthew Modine Stranger Things Netflix

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched the first two seasons of Stranger Things.

Season 2 of Stranger Things gave fans a lot of new questions to ponder, with one the biggest among them being: "What's up with Dr. Brenner?" Co-creators Matt and Ross recently spoke at a Master Class event at Chapman University, attended by CinemaBlend's Conner Schwerdtfeger, and during an exclusive interview, Ross Duffer shared some insight into what the show is doing with Dr. Brenner. Regarding the small Season 2 revelation that the doctor is "still alive," Duffer said the line was meant to intentionally keep the idea alive with audiences:

I think we'll leave Brenner's fate, you know...We wanted to hint at that, he very may well still be out there. In Season 1 we don't show his death. Not like we did with something like Bob. If we were going to kill him, we've always said we would really kill him. I think the audience deserves an actual Brenner death if we're gonna kill him. So we want to keep this idea that he may still be out there.

One might argue that particular Stranger Things Season 2 tease was outright necessary, as the attack from the Demogorgon in Season 1 had lots of non-conspiratorial fans assuming Dr. Martin Brenner was as dead as a doornail. Some might forget that there was actually a clue Brenner could be alive near the end of Season 1 as he was quoted as having "no comment" in a news story that broke following the attack on him. So now that it's officially out there Brenner could still be alive and awaiting some big and memorable death, how did he survive the Demogorgon?

That's a good question to ask, especially after Stranger Things fans witnessed Bob getting torn apart by Demodogs in Season 2. The Demogorgon was a much tougher foe than those monsters, so if Martin Brenner did manage to fend off the beast and remain of this world, he's a tough son of a gun. Then again, the Duffers are merely hinting that Brenner may be alive, and conveniently no one is discussing whether he's living in the real world or in the Upside Down.

In either case, it sounds like good news for actor Matthew Modine, as his moments in Stranger Things Season 2 were fleeting. It's also good news for fans, since it creates the possibility of Eleven having a chance to reunite with her "Papa." Finally getting some more answers regarding her past, and other things regarding the Upside Down, are much more likely with him in the picture. Of course, Ross Duffer simply stated they just wanted to put the idea out there that Dr. Brenner was alive, and it's still entirely possible this could be one big tease to set Eleven up for something else in the future.

Stranger Things Season 2 is now currently streaming on Netflix, and we still have a lot of other questions that need to be answered. We do already have lots of answers to other questions, like how the Duffers responded to a fan theory about Bob, or which kid character they originally planned on killing off. Additionally, CinemaBlend is also the place to be for anyone looking to find great shows to watch over the next couple of months, so stay up to date by visiting our fall premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.