Geeks Have All The Fights

Okay, "fight" is a strong word for what just occurred. "Amusing disagreement" would be more like it. It all started because my favorite time of year to watch the, "Back To The Future" trilogy is January. It's the absolute perfect cure for post-Christmas blues. Have to take down the tree and get back to work? Watch BTTF and "feel the power of love". I swear by this cure. (It also doesn't hurt to do some major cleaning this time of the year. So Jake and I have been dusting the interiors of cabinets and reorganizing closets all day long...to be fair, we may both be a little on edge and may have minor cases of cabin fever.)

At any rate, I noticed something I've never noticed before this year. In the opening sequence of the first film, they pan past all of Doc Brown's clocks. An excellent foreshadowing device in a time travel movie. By the way, why exactly does Doc have a gigantic amp in his garage? Just curious.

So they're panning past the clocks, and I see a model of the clock tower with a man hanging off of one of the hands. As you know, this happens to Doc Brown later in the film. Likely it was a little wink of an addition done by those behind the scenes. It's probably not meant to be taken literally as though it's meant to be a part of the mythology of the films. But it got me thinking, and it got Jake and I talking...

I take the position that time is cyclical. There must always be the two versions of what happens to Marty and Doc and everybody in the films. In order for things to end well, they have to start badly and Marty MUST go back in time. Otherwise, things stay less than ideal for the McFly clan. And obviously, by the end of the film, Doc has opened Marty's letter telling him about the Libyans. So it's entirely possible that Doc himself made the model of the man hanging off the clock tower that appears in the opening credits.

Jake says no way. Completely impossible. But what I am thinking is that perhaps Doc WAS wearing the bullet proof vest the first time the Libyans come around and he just played dead because he knows that Marty must go back in time for everything to turn out the way that it does in the end, the best for all concerned. Except Biff, naturally.

What do you think? I can't get enough of this movie...or these types of discussions.


  1. My late brother actually gave me that same clock (which I didn't notice until the umpteenth time I watched BTTF), and the irony to the end of the film didn't escape me.

  2. There's no way Doc could've been wearing the vest the first time around. When they went to the Twin Pines Mall, that was the first test run he had done of the time machine. Everything was fated to happen, but I don't think Doc made it happen. The first time he sees the future is in the second movie. Time is on two tangents...the current tangent in which Marty lives and the past into which Marty goes. The current tangent is still the same, but with some changes after Marty goes back. After helps his Dad at the dance, time pushes forward as a result of those events, as opposed to the events of their previous lives. I believe that prior to the new 1985, there is a little Marty floating around in his childhood years, making new memories and experiences that Marty will be able to recall until his child self catches up with his teenage self and the two kind of merge into one. There cannot be two Marty's in what is know as his present, but there could be in his past, or in his future. It's the same life, but the changes he made erases certain aspects of it and replaces it with new realities...like the newspaper, or the family photo, or the letter...and now I've gone cross-eyed.