Dr. Martin Brenner was a senior research scientist and the director of Hawkins National Laboratory. He raised Eleven in the lab, testing and pushing the limits of her psychic abilities through various experiments. In one such experiment, Brenner indirectly unleashed a monster from another dimension into Hawkins, allowing Eleven to escape the lab. In the following week, Brenner and his team searched for Eleven while investigating the newly opened gateway to the other dimension.
Dr. Brenner was involved in the controversial Project MKUltra, a CIA-sanctioned research program designed to develop mind-control techniques in which the subject suffered extreme conditions at the hands of the researchers, including use of psychedelic drugs, physical and mental abuse, sleep deprivation, and malnourishment.
One of the volunteer test subjects, college student Terry Ives, was pregnant during the program. She gave birth to a daughter named Jane, which Brenner and his staff took from her because the child was born with special powers due to the experiments Terry was subject to.
After Project MKUltra was shut down, Terry filed a lawsuit against Brenner, but it was dismissed citing lack of evidence. When the details of MKUltra became public knowledge, Hawkins Lab managed to block inquiries despite their legal obligation.
Dr. Brenner raised Jane under the name Eleven and she referred to him as "papa." He trained and developed her psychical abilities. One of these abilities was the use of remote viewing aided by a sensory deprivation tank, used to spy on a Russian agent at a distance far away.
As Eleven was spying on the agent, she encountered a monster which was heard over the loudspeakers in the lab. Though Eleven was terrified, Dr. Brenner was intrigued and told her to make contact with the creature. However, upon her touch, a gate to an alternate dimension opened in Hawkins Lab, and the monster passed through, killing a scientist.
During the commotion caused by the opening Gate, Eleven managed to escape from the lab. Brenner and other scientists investigated the lab's underground subsystem where they discovered that strange biologic matter native to the other dimension was spreading through the Gate. Brenner and the government began searching for Eleven and the Monster.
Brenner discovered Eleven was staying with Will's friends. Jim Hopper revealed she was located in Hawkins Middle School. Brenner, assisted by agents, traveled to the school and attempted to take her back to the laboratory. Although Eleven killed some of the agents using her biokinetic powers, she was drained of strength and collasped. The blood spilt from dead bodies attracted the Monster, which distracted the surviving agents, allowing Eleven and her friends to escape. Brenner was attacked by the Monster shortly after their escape. It is unknown if Brenner survived the attack.
"Will you trust me?"
|Season One appearances|
|The Vanishing of Will Byers||The Weirdo on Maple Street||Holly, Jolly||The Body|
|The Flea and the Acrobat||The Monster||The Bathtub||The Upside Down|