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Tell that stupid man it is not the same in the slightest, and I would like the cherry I requested.
— Alexei to Murray (in Russian)

Dr. Alexei, portrayed by Alec Utgoff, was a recurring character in the third season of Stranger Things.

Alexei was one of several Russian scientists developing an experimental technology designed to open gates to an alternate dimension previously encountered by Hawkins Lab in the US. After several attempts to open gates within the Soviet Union failed, the country commenced a secret operation to infiltrate Hawkins, in the hope of exploiting any remaining trace of the original interdimensional incursion.

Alexei was eventually relocated to a hidden base built under the Soviet-controlled Starcourt Mall, where the experimental machine finally succeeded at creating a stable gateway.

Quick Answers

What was the role of Dr. Alexei in the third season of Stranger Things? toggle section
Dr. Alexei, portrayed by Alec Utgoff, was a recurring character in the third season of Stranger Things. He was a Russian scientist involved in developing experimental technology to open gates to an alternate dimension, similar to the one previously encountered by Hawkins Lab in the US. After several unsuccessful attempts to open these gates within the Soviet Union, a secret operation was launched to infiltrate Hawkins, with the aim of exploiting any remaining traces of the original interdimensional incursion. Alexei played a crucial role in this operation.
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What was the experimental technology developed by Alexei in Stranger Things? toggle section
In Stranger Things, Alexei, the Russian scientist, was involved in developing an experimental technology known as the 'Key'. This technology was designed to open gates to an alternate dimension, previously encountered by Hawkins Lab in the US. Despite several failed attempts within the Soviet Union, a secret operation was commenced in Hawkins to exploit any remaining trace of the original interdimensional incursion.
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Why did the Soviet Union infiltrate Hawkins in Stranger Things? toggle section
In the third season of Stranger Things, the Soviet Union, including the Russian scientist Alexei, infiltrated Hawkins, Indiana. The reason behind this was the previous interdimensional incursion that had occurred in the town. The Soviets were developing experimental technology to open gates to this alternate dimension, similar to what had been done by Hawkins Lab in the US. However, their attempts to open these gates within the Soviet Union had failed. They believed that Hawkins, being a site of a previous interdimensional incursion, was a weak point in the fabric of space-time that could be exploited by their technology, known as the Key. Therefore, they commenced a secret operation to infiltrate Hawkins, hoping to exploit any remaining trace of the original interdimensional incursion.
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Who portrayed the character of Alexei in Stranger Things? toggle section
The character of Alexei in Stranger Things was portrayed by Alec Utgoff.
Provided by: Fandom



Alexei was born sometime during the early 1950s and was raised in the Soviet Union. Alexei eventually started working for the Soviet Military to open a gate to another dimension using a machine called a "Key".


Alexie was working on the "key" in an underground base in the Kamchatka Peninsula, under the supervision of an unnamed Soviet scientist. When Alexei's supervisor failed to get the Key to work properly, despite claiming to be close to succeeding, a Soviet soldier and hitman, Grigori, acting on the apparent orders of a Soviet general, lifted the scientist into the air, and held him by his throat, choking the scientist to death. Alexei watched his supervisor's execution. The general then gave Alexei one year to make the Key to work properly.


The Soviet attempt to reopen the gate was moved to Hawkins, Indiana due to the fabric of space-time already being weakened there. A new Key was designed and built in a base beneath Starcourt Mall. Besides their main base beneath Starcourt Mall, the Soviets also used the Hess Farmhouse, apparently to siphon electricity off the Hawkins power grid. One day, in the basement of the Hess farm house, Alexei was working with a second Russian technician on the electrical equipment that had been installed there. They were discovered by Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers. Hopper told them to put their hands up, but neither Russian understood English. Just then, Grigori, the Russian assassin, arrived at the Hess farm. Jim and Grigori fought. Hopper and Joyce escaped in Hopper's police car, with Alexei as their hostage. Seeking someone who could translate Russian, the headed for Illinois to see Murray.

However, Jim's vehicle broke down in the woods. Hopper handcuffed Alexei to a tree, while Jim and Joyce attempted to fix the vehicle. While fixing it, Joyce attempted to communicate with Alexei, asking him about the magnets falling of her refrigerator. Their conversation was confused, because the Russian word for "automobile" is "machini", which Joyce took to mean "machine". Jim needed Joyce help with the car. When Joyce attempted to start the car, Alexei saw that the vehicle might explode, and tried to warn Joyce and Hopper before it exploded. However, the vehicle did explode, rendering them without a vehicle.

They, later, walked through the forest and, when Alexei was slightly behind, Jim shoved him into the front, and told him to him, "to catch up" before he saw and heard Joyce and Jim arguing. This caused Alexei to run away from them, causing Jim to chase him, and when Alexei stopped running, he and Jim saw the 7-Eleven store. They entered the convenience store, where Alexei grabbed a Coke can drank it before sneakily consuming a Slurpee mixture with Cherry flavor.

They left the store, and found a man named Todd putting gas in his yellow convertible, which had the license plate "Todfather". Jim "requisitioned" the vehicle to transport a dangerous suspect, Alexei, who he described as a "child murderer". Jim, Joyce and Alexei drove off, leaving the astonished owner of the car standing at the gas station.

Jim, Joyce and Alexei arrived at Murray's warehouse and were threatened with a double-barrel shotgun by Murray and, in response, told him to "get that out of his face", while calling him a "bald American pig", which made Murray say to him that, "he may be bald, but Alexei is the one in handcuffs" and called him "Soviet scum". Alexei entered the warehouse and was searched by Murray with a makeshift metal, before Joyce yelled at Murray, causing him to stop searching and get down to business.

Later, Alexei asked Jim for a cherry Slurpee before, he went to Burger King and returned with a extra-large Slurpee and a Whopper for Alexei, and when Murray asked, what he was developing with the generators he made and Alexei drank his Slurpee, he spat it out and exclaimed that it tasted like "shit strawberry" and Murray told him that it was "sugar on ice" and was normal. Alexei disagreed, and when Murray said "no cherry", he replied "No cherry, no deal". This caused Jim to grab him and throw him on the table and throwing him outside, and gives him the cuff key and key to the TODFTHR, but he parks the convertible and mutters to Jim that, he likes strawberry as well.

Alexei communicates with Hopper and Joyce with the help of Murray, who is fluent in Russian. Alexei later explained the reason for the secret Soviet presence in Hawkins was because of a device known as the "Key" that he and his colleagues were trying to construct, which they had failed to do Russia on numerous occasions. The "Key" was able to unlock a "doorway between worlds", Alexei’s way of articulating the concept of a gate to Murray.

After having Vodka, Hopper told Alexei that he will get him to his key, causing him to laugh and that Jim reminded him of a "fat Rambo" and revealed that the Key was "designed by the greatest Russian minds and guarded by their greatest warriors" and, that breaking in was impossible. After some time, Joyce wakes Alexei up from sleeping, telling him that they needed to "vroom vroom, back to Hawkins" and Hopper, Joyce, and Murray then proceeded to return to Hawkins with Alexei, intending to close the Russian's Gate.

Later Alexei, Murray, Hopper and Joyce went to the Independence Day Fun Fair organized by Mayor Larry Kline to search for Joyce and Hopper's kids, Alexei thought he couldn’t go in the Fun Fair because he wasn’t American. Murray said he didn’t have to be American to go in, and they both entered the Fun Fair. Alexei later won one of the carnival games, and he got a giant, stuffed Woody Woodpecker. He was later shot by Grigori after he attempted to defect to the United States and was briefly left unattended by Murray. Murray ran to a bleeding Alexei, hid him somewhere, told him to keep the pressure on his gunshot wound before bleeding to death.


Alexei had a very childlike personality. During his brief partnership with Hopper, Joyce and Murray, he was shown to enjoy Slurpee's and cartoons (such as Woody Woodpecker and Looney Tunes) and longed to join in the festivities at the Hawkins 4th of July Fun Fair. Alexei was also overjoyed to win a giant stuffed Woody Woodpecker at the fair moments before his death.

Whilst Alexei was mostly friendly to his captors, at times he was shown to have a cunning side, only offering his knowledge of the Russian's operations in exchange for things that benefit him, such as his favorite cherry-flavored Slurpee's. When he received a different flavor, Alexei refused to help until he got what he wanted.

Despite this, the second Alexei is threatened or physically assaulted by Hopper his cocky side instantly drops and it is revealed Alexei is very fearful of authority figures punishing him. This is shown again when he decides against trying to escape back to his comrades, as he is smart enough to recognize that if he returns alive, they'll know he has been giving secrets to the Americans and would likely torture and kill him.

Alexei was easily entertained, amazed at the sight of the 7-Eleven and the numerous items for sale, as well as the 4th of July Fun Fair and winning a prize, likely due to these absent luxuries in the USSR, and speaking of which, he was easily entertained and interested in trying new things such as, when he tasted the Cherry Slurpee mix, he grew attracted to it and asked Jim for a Slurpee of cherry flavor and when he saw Jim smoking, he tried to smoke and liked that. He also shows great accuracy and precision, as he won a game of Balloon Darts without missing a single balloon. Alexei enjoyed the American way of life and was willing to defect from the USSR and even asked Murray about becoming a US citizen after helping them stop the Russians.



Being his captor during the search to find out more about the Russian's plan, Hopper was quite hostile towards Alexei for most of their time together, often manhandling him and occasionally physically assaulting him, as well as mockingly referring to him as "Smirnoff" rather than his actual name. Hopper would also avoid trying to talk to Alexei until they reached the residence of Murray Bauman, often berating Joyce for trying to communicate with him despite the language barrier.

Eventually the tension between Alexei and Hopper ended with the latter beating Alexei up after he refused to help them over his Slurpee being a different flavor than what he asked for. After this interaction, Alexei was much more cooperative with Hopper and didn't try and provoke him again.

Joyce remained on friendly terms with Alexei during their time and was more sympathetic towards him than Hopper most of the time. She often tried to communicate with him with sound effects and exaggerated arm movements due to the language barrier, much to the annoyance of Hopper. Joyce, alongside Murray, defended Alexei when he refused to help due to his Slurpee being strawberry flavored, pointing out that he did indeed request that it be cherry.

After his death, Joyce was shown to be shocked and upset and couldn't bring herself to tell Hopper the news and instead shook her head remorsefully instead. Before Joyce and Murray left the Fun Fair, Joyce unleashed her anger onto Mayor Kline, punching and kicking him for inadvertently allowing Alexei's death to happen.

Out of his three situational allies, Murray is the one whom Alexei grew a bond with the fastest due to his knowing fluent Russian, allowing them to communicate. They quickly became friends after Alexei revealed his wish to become an American citizen in order to enjoy the luxuries he didn't have access to in the USSR, to which Murray responded by telling him he didn't have to be American to join in the fun and took him to the Fun Fair. He then left Alexei with some tickets and set off to find food, leaving him to freely explore the fair.

After Alexei is shot by Grigori, Murray leaves him to find Hopper and Joyce. Murray is then devastated to return and find that Alexei has died and laments that he had left for just a minute to get two corn dogs.


Season Three appearances
Suzie, Do You Copy? The Mall Rats The Case of the Missing Lifeguard The Sauna Test
The Flayed E Pluribus Unum The Bite The Battle of Starcourt
Video game appearances
Dedicated games
Stranger Things: The Game
Stranger Things 3: The Game
Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales
Stranger Things: The VR Experience
Stranger Things VR
Dead by Daylight
The Vanishing

Memorable Quotes

Alexei to Murray:

  • "Can we watch Looney Tunes now?"
  • "It's not rigged!"

Alexei to Hopper:

  • "No cherry, no deal."


View Gallery For this subject's gallery, see Alexei/Gallery.