THE FUTURE THAT NEVER WAS....
Having done a lot of reading and collecting of various Back to the Future publications--including script drafts, the novels, and countless magazine articles--I thought I'd compile a description of things that most viewers may not know about these films. Some of it is fascinating to think about--just how different would the BTTF films be if some of this had happened?




BACK TO THE FUTURE

In the very first draft of Back to the Future, written by both Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale in 1980, the time that Marty McFly went back to was not 1955, but March 11, 1952. Likewise, the present time was 1982. Marty was an aspiring musician who was also a video pirate on the side--he illegally made copies of films and sold them for a profit. Marty had no siblings in the original BTTF draft. His mother was Eileen Baines, not Lorraine. Doc Brown was known as "Professor Emmett L. Brown" and Marty called his friend "Professor." In 1952 "Prof" Brown worked at "the University." Hill Valley was non-existant. The town was described only as a "small midwestern town." Marty's girlfriend was Suzy, not Jennifer, Parker.

In the present, the Professor lived in an abandon Orpheum theater. Professor Brown created a device to power his time machine--using a device called only "the Power Converter" to harness light and convert it into energy. Unfortunately, something was missing--until Marty was fiddling with the decivice and "accidentally" spilled Coca Cola into the Converter. Thus, this time machine ran on Coke, the irony being that the ingredients to Coke were a closely guarded secret.

The original time machine was not a DeLorean, or even a car, but a refridgerator and a laser-like device. There was no way to preprogram time circuits--rather, a lever with a plus or minus sign was used to make the time machine go to the past or future. The distance traveled was decided by how much power was jolted into the time machine.

Marty was into gambling on the side, too, and that's why he fiddled with the time machine--he wanted to get the scores of the future. Professor Brown had a monkey named Shemp, instead of a dog, for a pet. Rather than Lybians, Government agents accidentally shoot the inventor and provoke Marty into using the time machine. The Professor never wanted Marty to know of his invention. Instead of having the Professor's demise filmed, it is recorded on audio tape that Marty brings back with him (probably because home video cameras weren't really readily available back then).

In the past, Eileen lived in the same house as Marty did in the future. He met his mother when he ran home in a panic. When he saw his mother at the door, as a teenager, he passed out. Thus inducing a crush from Eileen. Professor Brown was called then, when the Baines found his name circled on a page from a phone book Marty had on him.

Marty's guise in 1952 is "Marty Lewis" instead of Calvin Klein. (Which makes me wonder if it isn't a little in-joke because in the finished film, Marty's fave group is Huey Lewis & the News.) While trying to figure out an energy source to send Marty back to the future (since the time machine also ran on nuclear power) the Professor left him in his plush house. Marty didn't like that and snuck out. He managed to get an audition with a record company that was scheduled for March 18th--which happens to be the date a nuclear bomb test will occur in Nevada. Which is the only power source capable of sending the time machine home.

Marty decides to go to the high school when Eileen drops by, out of pure curiosity. While there he meets Biff Tannen (who's catch-phrase is "A-hole" instead of "butt-head") for the first time and sees his parents have their first meeting--sort of. George and Eileen met in the cafeteria at the high school, when George went to ask Eileen to the "Springtime in Paris" dance. George was so nervous at the time that he spilled his creamed corn, which invoked a compassion in Eileen. But Marty accidentally distracts George, and the invite ends in disaster. Later, the Professor and Marty realize that Marty's mom likes him instead.

What follows is quite similiar to the BTTF we know and love. Except the time machine is sent back to the future in a nuclear test, and when Marty returns to the future, he finds an alternate reality that is very very strange--and Marty's father, rather than being a writer, is a professional boxer.


In the third draft of BTTF, from July of 1984, things are much more on track as we know them. Doc is Doc, not Professor. Lorraine is Lorraine. But Jennifer is still "Suzy." Marty is no longer a video pirate, and he has a brother and sister again--Dave and Linda. In an unexpected twist, Marty has a nasty case of stage fright, rather than fear of failure.

Hill Valley, Caifornia does not yet exist. Instead, Marty's home town is "Elmdale," a small town somewhere in the Midwest. Marty's dream car is not a Toyota truck, but a Camero Z-28. Doc Brown lives in a rambling old Victorian house, with the garage as a lab. When Marty meets him (and brings his Beta video camera!) at the "Three Pines Mall" parking lot, the time machine is a DeLorean! Doc's dog, Einstein, is a St. Bernard, rather than a sheep dog. As in the film, terrorists that Doc took plutonium from show up, shoot him, then chase Marty back to March 20, 1955.

Film follows basically the same path from there with the Peabody encounter, cafe encounter (Lou, by the way, notices Marty's money is from 1978 and not from the current time!), and up until the point Marty saves his father's life.

Marty comes around in the Baines living room, from smelling salts. He thinks his grandmother is his mother, then when he sees his teenager mother he passes out again, waking up in her room hours later. As in the film, Lorraine thinks he is Calvin Klein after taking off both his pants and his red, rather than purple, underwear! Lorraine only has one brother, rather than multiple siblings. No "Jailbird Joey" yet!

The film is more or less the same again until after the skateboard chase, where Lorraine tracks Marty down and asks him out. He turns her down but, after Doc admonishes him for it, calls her only to find out Lorraine agreed to go to the dance with Biff Tannen! So Marty does the only thing he can think of--the space alien act to Biff instead of George, trying to get him to break the date! Its hillarious--even funnier with Biff! Unfortunately, as Marty is running away from the Tannen residence, someone spots him and later tells Biff who the "alien" is.

"Enchantment Under the Sea" is still the "Springtime in Paris" dance. George is tardy to the Packard where Marty and Lorraine wait--or, Biff and Lorraine--because he has this sudden paranoia with the time. Same events follow. But when Marty goes up on stage to play "Rock Around the Clock" for his parents to kiss, he freezes up with his fear. It's only after seeing the look on his father's face of disappointment that he finally gets past that and goes on to rock the place.

After the dance, Marty meets Doc and they hurry to the nuclear test site in Nevada. The DeLorean goes back to 1985, appearing at a marker marking the test site and nearly running over tourists! Then Marty has a race against time to get back and save Doc's live, driving 1435 miles in 15 hours! Drives through Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, which still tells me nothing about where Elmdale is located. Gets back to Elmdale in time, and things follow the course of the film more or less from there.


The fourth draft of BTTF, from October 21, 1984, opens up in a high school class room, during a film on Nuclear Tests in the 50's. Marty is caught listening to his Walkman, and has a meeting in the office with Strickland, where the man crunches his Walkman and sentences him to detention. After constructing an elaborate plan to get out of that--inolving bubble gum, rubber bands, and a matchbook--Marty makes it to his band audition. As in the film, he fails. As he's griping about it to his girlfriend, who is still Suzy Parker, they run into Doc Brown in the courthouse square of Hill Valley, California. Doc lives in an RV in this draft, and summons Marty over a loudspeaker as he and Suzy are about to kiss. Doc reminds him about "Twin Pines Mall" at 1AM.

The script is the same from this point on, though before it cuts to the scene where Doc calls Marty at 12:30AM to remind him of the meeting, it shows Marty at his desk tossing away a submission to a record company.

The flux capacitor has a different name--"Temporal Field Capacitor"--and the red letter date in the history of science is March 19, 1955. The license plate on the DeLorean reads "NOTIME" instead of "OUTATIME." The present time is October 5, 1985.

When Marty gets back in the past, he hides the DeLorean in the garage of his future home--which is a model home at the time. The script follows more or less the same course as the film from there, until Marty's first encounter with the Doc. Marty finds Doc throwing a party at his mansion, flanked by two women when he answers the door. The scientist thinks it's a joke and goes back inside, as he's yet to come up with the idea for a time machine. Marty watches from the window as Doc goes over to a gorgeous woman, then gets hit over the head with a beer bottle after making a pass at her! It's then Doc comes up with the idea for the time machine!

When in the high school trying to track down his parents, Marty watches his mother cheat during a test. Lorraine asks "Calvin Klien" out immediately after the skateboard chase, in the town square. He says yes, with the idea that she'll then be at the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance.

Things progress as they do in the film, except the clock is struck by lightening at 10:02PM on March 26, 1955 instead of 10:04 on November 12th. When Marty gets back to the future and sees his family the next day, we learn that they plan to move out of the house soon, since George became a successful writer. Marty's car in the future is a "tricked out Supra" with the personalized license plate "MARTY 1."


The novel of BTTF is a cross between the forth script draft and the film. It starts out like the forth script draft--none of the screenplays I've read have opened up as the film does. Marty's girlfriend is finally named Jennifer, and the date is October 25th, 1985. The time machine goes back to November 5th, 1955.

While dining with his mother's family, Marty sees a cigarrette commercial on the TV and is shocked by it. The 1955 Doc never believes Marty's claims of being from the future, so Marty is forced to sneak the time machine in his lab in the middle of the night to prove it to him. While examining the contents of his future luggage, Doc comes across a "Playboy" magazine, and is highly impressed.

During the dance, George is locked in the bathroom and let out only when Strickland busts the kids in there. Marty's music is a big hit--he never gets overly carried away and stuns the gym into silence. I think that the novel was based off the fifth draft of the script, since it's the most like the film.



BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II

The novel of Back to the Future Part II is quite similar to the final film, with the exception of a few additional things. Rather than getting jailed in an attempt to free her brother, Marlene McFly gets depressed after the arrest and commits suicide. Marty discovers Jennifer being taken away by the cops in the alleyway without Doc. When Doc arrives on the scene, minutes later, Marty tells him of it and Doc brings the DeLorean on the scene via watch remote control.

While in the alternate reality in 1985, Marty runs into his brother Dave outside the pleasure paradise and is stunned to see him as a drunken bum.

In 1955, Doc runs into Farmer Peabody and a cop at the billboard when returning to the DeLorean after trying to track down Marty in town. Peabody saw the UFO that destroyed his barn and wants to "blast him," so Doc tells him that he saw the craft and it was "way...out...there" to get rid of them. It works. The "River Road Tunnel" that Biff drives into is called "Deacon's Hill Tunnel."

The "revised script draft" -- perhaps a second draft? -- of Back to the Future Part II, dated December 19, 1988, bears a surprising difference to the finished film. While the script opens as the film does (or will, depending on your perspective), things change immediately upon entering 2015. Doc knocks Jennifer out not with a sleep inducer but with a "harmless anesthetic." When removing the "disguise" for Marty in the alleyway, he comments that "it should improve my luck with the ladies, don't you think?" When Marty enters the Cafe 80's with his mission to say no to Griff, a sign is visible in the window informing patrons that "B. Tannen Jr., Franchisee." (Which puts to rest the debate, perhaps, about what Biff's son is named. Yep, the filmmakers indeed saw him as a Biff Jr. Poor child.) In the Cafe, Marty runs into Old Biff, who mistakes him for Marty Jr., and rants a little about his lot in life. "It's no secret I ain't no friend of your family. Why should I be? Your grandpa George got the girl I wanted; he made the money: years of kissin' his ass -- 'Yes, Mr. McFly, you car's all waxed, Mr. McFly....' and he barely threw me crumbs. But he earned his, I'll give him that. I thought his books were stupid, but people liked 'em. At least he knew what he was doing."

After he finishes the raving, Marty goes to meet Griff in "the gym" apparently adjacent to the cafe, in Court 3. This is when the deleted and oft-mentioned "slamball" scene comes into play. Apparently it's an antigravity game where the players try to smack each other with a ball and, wearing "grip shoes," are able to run around the "spherical courts" on the walls and upside down. (I can see why this had to be scrapped from the film for expense!) The scene playes out almost identical to that in the film's Cafe 80's between Martys (Jr. and Sr.) and Griff and his gang, except that it includes a nifty little chase scene in the court with Marty running around on the ceiling and then using some futuristic gym equipment to delay the gang in the pursuit outside.

After the hoverboard hijinks, Marty is then distracted by a newsstand robot who is displaying the news of the Cubs winning the World Series. Since this robot, "Bernie," is trying to sell him something, Marty asks him if he has anything with sports results between then and 1985 and the video screen plays a catchy commercial for Grey's Sports Almanac -- which has results from 1955 to 2014. There is also a choice of formats, all electronic: "Vid-Rom, CD-Rom, Mini-C, DDX, Micro-V, Micro-D." Marty naturally wants this, in a book form, which Bernie thinks is really weird. The cost for this "unusual" format is $68.85, including tax. The newsstand does not accept cash, so Marty is forced to pay with his thumb -- which provokes a lot of his personal info to flash on the screen (too fast for him to catch) and then a woman from his bank comes on the screen to chide him that he's exceeded his debt limit and is now down to a "D" credit rating level.

After he gets the book, Marty watches the police take Jennifer away -- male cops, not female, though they bear the same names, Reese and Foley. Their 2015 address is 1131 Park Lane in Hilldale, which is "subsidized housing for low income families." Doc catches up with Marty, catches him with the book, chides him, they toss it, Biff overhears, etc.

Inside the McFly's 2015 house, things play out similar as they do in the film, though there is more conversation between Lorraine and George. We learn, for example, that Marty blamed everyone but himself for the race with the Rolls Royce. When Marty arrives home from work, he takes a message from a "Harrison" at work, who tries to cajol him into the "902 deal" at work. Marty is relutcant, as he is up for a promotion, but the chicken thing provokes him. Fujitsu pages him during dinner to fire him, as Harrison turned Marty in after "catching" his illegal transfer. Even when Marty explaines he was tricked, his boss still says he's fired "for being stupid enough to fall for it."

Once the Jennifers meet and pass out, and Marty and Doc head back to the stolen DeLorean, Biff returnes from the future and gets out. It's noted he has a bruise on his forehead and the top of his cane is missing (from being snapped in the DeLorean). He staggers out and away and, once the DeLorean leaves, collapses in the street. A truck then drives up, heavily armoured police one, with "Tannen Valley" on the city seal. A couple tricked out cops get out, recognize Biff as who he is, mentioning he owns half the state and his son is apparently the governor. (So, things changed around them from the moment Biff returned, apparently.)

The events in the alternate 1985 play out as they have in other drafts and in the film. Marty, however, makes it into the hotel lobby at the Pleasure Paradise and sees a much more extensive video of "The Biff Tannen Story." Among the new revelations, we learn Biff was born in 1937 in a "modest home" on Elm Street, his full name is Biff Howard Tannen, and that he was such a fantastic asset to the Hill Valley High football team that he was kept back to do his senior year twice. (Explaining why he's a year older than his classmates; George and Lorraine were always reported to be 17 in 1955, while Biff was 18.) A couple hotel clerks see Marty hanging around and summon Biff's gang to confront him with the hard way or easy way options; when Marty wakes up, his first words are not "Mom, is that you?" but "Ohhh, where am I?" When his mother tells him that he's "home, safe and sound," he then says, "Home? Mom? Is that you?" and things are restored to their proper balance. :-)

When Marty and Doc hook up at the cemetary, and go to Doc's place to look at the scientist's research, we learn that Doc's other self was not committed but was just given an eviction notice in that day's mail because the property is going to be turned into a toxic waste dump. (This begs the question: where is Doc's other self? I can see why this was changed later to having Doc's other self committed to nicely escape the question of multuiple versions of the characters simultaneously existing in one reality, or if the other Doc and Marty simply vanished when their alt counterparts came in.) We also learn that Biff met his future self not when he picked up his car from the mechanic, but when he was trying to fix it himself in his garage that evening (Nov 12th). Therefore, Marty doesn't have to trail Biff around town that entire day and the time travelers go directly to that evening, where Marty stakesout Biff's garage while Doc waits with the DeLorean at the billboard.

Almost immediately after popping back to 1955, Marty sees Biff give himself the book. The younger one throws it on a workbench in his garage, and when the old Biff leaves he's harassed by Match, Skinhead, and 3-D, who have just arrived. They mock him and grab the cane and knock him on the head with it -- which explains the bruise on his forehead -- and then Biff chase them off his older self. The gang then discusses going to the dance, deciding to when one of them mentions "Calvin Klien" will be there with Lorraine, in order for Biff to extract his revenge. They leave in one of the gang member's car and Marty has to follow on foot.

At the school, things play out as they do in the film. But once Marty gets the almanac from the punched out Biff, he keeps it. Doc is going to meet him in the football field, but because Marty delays things enough because Biff tries to provoke him to a fight -- with a knife concealed, which is thwarted when Marty's other self throws open the metal door and it smacks Biff in the face -- the time machine is struck by lighting just when Marty grabs the rope dangling for him. The Western Union guy shows up with a letter from Doc, dated from 1888, and Marty books it off to the courthouse square to confront Doc....


The "Paradox" script--which blends Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part III as one film-- is, in a way, the first draft of both films. And it does have some differences from the films, naturally.

When Doc arrives in October 21, 2015 with Marty and Jennifer, he nearly runs into a flying truck, who's driver sticks his head out the window and yells at Doc. Then "Air Traffic Control" comes on the radio and reprimants Doc for "unauthorized entry into commercial transport airspace." Jennifer isn't given any time to ask Doc about her kids and a wedding before Doc uses the sleep inducer on her.

Doc never shows Marty the newspaper of his son's crime, he merely tells him his job and then leaves to delay the real Marty Jr. After foiling the Tannen gang and buying the almanac, Marty comes across Jennifer being taken away by the cops, then runs into Doc. Doc now has a newspaper that he just picked up a day in the future, to see if Marty was successful, and it doesn't show anything changed yet. But when Marty looks a moment later, it's different.

When Jennifer is in the McFly house, she sees a "videobook" of her and Marty's wedding--which was not at the Chapel O Love. Old George threw his back out playing "slamball," which may or may not be a nod to an idea Bob Zemeckis wanted to do--a slamball game of the future. But it was too expensive to do, so the idea was scrapped. After the Jennifers faint, there is a short part where Marty and his kids come over to the older one and find her lying there.

The script follows more or less the same path as the film and novel version until Doc and Marty return to 1955. Then things get incredibly condensed. The script cuts from their arrival in 1955....to Marty at the dance that night! Old Biff summons Young Biff from a car in the parking lot of the school and hands over the almanac then. Strickland takes the almanac from Biff (so Marty thinks) and he has to go after him as in the film.

When Marty has his confrontation with Biff near the gym doors, Biff is the one smacked in the face, not Marty. Biff drops brass knuckles as he falls, showing Marty how lucky he was with that timing! Then, with Doc urging him to hurry via the walkie-talkie, Marty goes to the football field in the back of the school to meet Doc. As he's running to meet the scientist, lighting strikes the DeLorean.

Marty burns the almanac in the field, then the Western Union guy arrives with the letter from Doc--dated 1888! Marty runs off to meet the 1955 Doc, that Doc freaks and passes out....

But then the script cuts to Doc Brown's 1955 study that same night, and Marty tossing the almanac on the fireplace while Doc stands nearby and reads the letter aloud! In the letter, it is revealed that the Doc in the old west has met a woman that he is considering settling down with. It is also revealed, in this scene, that Doc Brown had an Uncle Abraham that he spent summers with on a ranch. The cemetary is not the Boot Hill Cemetary, but the Oak Park Cemetary, the same place where Marty's father was buried in the alternate reality!

While retrieving the DeLorean, Marty finds Doc's tombstone--"Here lies Emmett Brown. Date of birth, unknown. Shot in the back by Buford Tannen, April 13, 1888." But instead of telling Doc about it, Marty takes a picture and keeps mum on the news.

The drive train on the DeLorean is busted, so Doc Brown pushes it to 88 with his Packard near the Lyon Estates billboard. Marty changes the destination time last minute to April 11, 1888--the day after Doc wrote the letter. He arrives in the middle of a cattle stampede at 7AM. Walks the two miles into Hill Valley in his 1985 clothes--since he never told Doc of the change in plans, he was never dressed in cowboy attire.

As Marty is walking down the main street of Hill Valley, Buford "Black Biff" Tannen arrives on the scene. Marty is the only one outside--everyone else ran away--so, of course, he's in trouble. "Black Biff" charges money for people in his street when he's in town, so they check Marty's teeth for gold or silver, then notice those Nike shoes. Like in the film, Tannen makes him dance and Marty does the moonwalk. When he spins around and yells, Marty spooks Tannen's horse, who dumps him in a pile of manure. Tannen then decides to hang Marty.

Doc arrives, then, and shoots the rope with that modified rifle. But Tannen isn't intimidated by the rifle much--then someone else comes on the scene. It is Clara Clayton, with a little gun made by Doc that she says he calls "The Terminator." That makes Tannen back down, but he vows to be back on Friday the 13th to settle the score. Before leaving, Tannen demands Marty's name, and he blurts out Clint Eastwood. Tannen tells him to be in front of the saloon on Friday the 13th at 8AM so he can settle things between them as well.

As the gang rides away, Doc and Clara come over to Marty. They exchange only a couple words before Marty passes out--it was a close call with the hanging. He wakes up in Doc's place that night. Clara comes in with a tray of food (cooked rattlesnake!), thinking that Marty comes from "a strange, far away place....San Francisco." Until Marty asks where "Doc" is (delivering a wagon repaired for Farmer Peabody) she has no idea that he was a doctor--she just thought he was a blacksmith. Marty finds out, as Clara talks, that Doc is not only a blacksmith, but also helps out teaching science at the school. When Doc comes in a moment later, Clara has to leave, so Doc and Marty finally have a chance to talk. Marty shows Doc the picture.

The script then cuts to the DeLorean being pulled by 4 horses while Marty is steering it from inside the car--that's how they moved it back to Doc's place for the scientist to get it ready to be pushed by a locomotive. He tells Marty, as he readies the DeLorean, that he'd been considering building a steam operated flux capacitor. Doc shows Marty the plan for sending the DeLorean back with one of his patented model--the ravine is not Shonash/Clayton Ravine, but Carson Ravine.

The script cuts to Marty exiting a general store and seeing a barber carving the fateful tombstone. Then as he's about to enter the blacksmith shop, he looks in a window and sees Clara with Doc. Clara tells him that she's decided not to go back East, but to stay in town, then kisses him. Doc looks a bit upset with the news; he'd thought she'd be leaving. Marty is worried from what he sees.

That night, while they set up the DeLorean at the spur, Doc is considering staying back with her. Marty talks him out of it, as in the film. But once Marty is asleep, Doc goes to the schoolhouse and tells Clara the truth. She gets upset and slaps him. Doc is brokenhearted and goes to the saloon to get drunk--and he does.

Marty discovers Doc is missing the next morning and finds him at the bar, passed out after drinking an entire bottle of whiskey! (I guess he can hold his liquor better here!) Things follow the film at this point--until Marty tells the crowd in the bar he doesn't care what Tannen says or what anyone else thinks. The crowd all boos him, basically, then Seamus McFly speaks up. It's the first Marty sees of his ancestor who, according to the script, is the spitting image of "either George or Marty." Seamus isn't yet married, but a saloon girl who looks just like Lorraine is eyeing him with interest.

After the confrontation with Tannen, Marty is handed his gunbelt by a boy named D.W. Griffith. Instead of getting arrested, Tannen--who broke his hand--is offered a job by Seamus on his farm. (Had Seamus been played by Crispin Glover, this would reek of history repeating itself in the past, since Biff works for George McFly in 1985!) The rest of the script is nearly identical to the film.



BACK TO THE FUTURE PART III

The first draft screenplay of Back to the Future Part III is highly interesting in the many differences and new details that emerge in it on the characters--Doc, in particular. The screenplay opens up in Doc Brown's study. Doc is pacing around, reading aloud the letter his future self wrote him from April 9, 1888. Marty listens to him read it as he warms himself up by the fire. While reading, Doc recalls spending summers at his uncle's Abraham's place--and his last name was Lathrop! (So that's how Doc got that odd middle name!!) We also find out that his mother's name was Sarah. Doc also recollects to Marty how he got into science--when he was eleven, he stuck his finger in an electrical socket!

When Doc comes across the location where his future self stashed the DeLorean in the past (Delgado mine), Marty askes where it is. Doc explain's it's local, "out near the junction of Delgado Highway and Woodman Road"--which Marty realizes is where the "Del-Wood Plaza Cineplex" is. Interesting.

Neither Doc nor Marty see the tombstone of his future self, which is knocked over in the mine blast. The tombstone reads: "Here lies Emmett Brown. Date of birth, unknown. Died--April 13, 1888. Gunned down by a dirty coward whose name does not deserve to be remembered. Erected in loving memory by...." But at this point in the script, the name is not revealed, concealed by dirt.

While repairing the DeLorean, it is noted in the repair instructions that "the farmer's bullet cut clean through the aerial-nav circuit chip." What farmer's bullet is what I'd like to know! Doc mentions, while reading through the repair instructions, that after he sends Marty back to 1985 (again) he will "go out on a binge, get completely plastered, have a great time, and forget all about everything." Highly amusing, considering Doc's tolerance for alcohol in the film!

The next day, the newspaper carries a story about the vandalized graveyard--with a picture of Doc's tombstone. Neither Doc and Marty notice it at first, even though Marty is actually reading the newspaper! Marty is distracted from the newspaper by a photograph of Doc and a woman at the beach. Inscribed on the picture is: "Emmett, we'll always have Pismo. Love Jill." Marty askes Doc about it, naturally, and Doc tells him about Jill Wooster, the Dean's daughter. She apparently likes Jules Verne and Doc adds, "I confess, I've never been much for biology, but Jill's different."

Ironically, right then, Dean Wooster stops by with two other men named Cooper and Mintz. They tell Doc that, because he is working for them at the University (as a professor of physics!), he has to participate in one of three projects--working on the Edsel car, working on a chemical warfare thing ("They'll name the final chemical agent after you," notes Cooper. "'Agent Brown.'"), and working on something called Xerox, which Doc pronounces "X-rox." Doc, however, has no interest in any of these projects (even though Marty tries to steer him towards the Xerox one!) and refuses to do them. The Dean then threatens him that his relationship with Jill will be damaged unless he cooperates with them.

Doc is able to complete the DeLorean repairs by the next day--when Jill calls. Marty waits outside, watching them through a window, as Jill tells Doc that, if she won't participate with her father in the projects for himself or the college, then he should do it for her. Doc refuses. Jill then walks out of his life, angry, adding that she never even liked Jules Verne. Doc is understandably upset.

Afterwards, as Doc trashes the photograph with himself and Jill in it, he notices the newspaper beside it--and the tombstone photo! He and Marty check it out. While examining the tombstone, Marty asks Doc if he had any ancestors in the area then--and Doc's response differs from the film! "Only my mother's family, the Lathrops [were in Hill Valley]. The Browns didn't move to Hill Valley until 1908." While examining the gravestone, Doc wipes the dirt and it is revealed that a "beloved Clara" set the tombstone up. Clara was never mentioned in the letter and the Doc of 1955 rants about how that could wreck all this havoc on the space-time continuum. He then tells Marty to go back there and get him out of the past.

On November 16, 1955, at 11AM, Doc sends Marty off into the past--from "Indian Rocks State Park." In this script, the flying circuits are not fried, so Marty takes to the skies for the temporal displacement. It may also be noticed that Marty is wearing another hideous cowboy outfit, complete with fancy boots, chaps, belt, a rhinstone-studded western shirt and vest, and a Stetson. Doc mentiones to Marty that he put some spare parts in the DeLorean's trunk if something should go wrong.

Marty arrives on April 7, 1888 at 11AM--in the middle of a flock of birds. (Hmmm, that would be bad with flying cars!) He manages to keep control of the time machine and land it, not noticing the Indians who watch him hide the car behind rocks.

Marty walks without incident into Hill Valley. He has the unfortunate luck of stepping in horse manure again, then talks to a man outside the Marshal's office. Marty describes Doc to the guy ("I'm looking for a man named Brown. About 6'2", wild hair, wild eyes, about 65 years old..."). The townsperson directs him to the saloon; it sounds like the bartender.

The bartender looks like Doc from the back, but definitely is not when he turns around. The bartender wants to know what Marty wants and Marty askes for a restroom. The old west guy doesn't get it and so Marty askes for a bathroom. The guy still doesn't get it, so Marty clarifies it for him. About that time Buford "Black Biff" Tannen steps in the saloon--and calls on McFly. Marty is shocked, but even more shocked when he sees a "young farmer, who looks an awful lot like George McFly" at the bar. It is Angus McFly. (Or, to be more precise, "Angus George Douglas McFly," as he tells Marty later on--ha!) Tannen picks on McFly, but the Irish farmer just walks away from it.

Marty is then noticed by Tannen and his gang, who take great delight in insulting his height. Tannen demands that Marty lick his boot before leaving. Marty refuses and shoves Tannen outta the way--which, naturally, angers the guy. The gang grabs him and takes him outside to lynch him in the still-being-built courthouse. Doc Brown then arrives on the scene, shoots through the rope, has the shouting match with Tannen on the horse debt--then Tannen leaves, vowing to be back to collect.

Doc and Marty go to a restarant, then, with Doc examining the newspaper article while the two are served food--for Marty, steak, beans, biscuits, and coffee. Marty hates the food. While waiting for Doc to be served ("squab," whatever that is!), the two discuss the tombstone problem and Doc mentions he has been in the past for 6 months, trying to repair the DeLorean and becoming a blacksmith as a front for it. (Interesting--if he had been there for 6 months in April, then he likely arrives on November 12, 1887!) The two decide to book it to the DeLorean--when Marty sees an Indian walk in the restarant. An Indian wearing vaccuum tubes and the "DMC" logo from the DeLorean. Marty then remembers that he left the car unlocked. Ooops!

Doc and Marty go out to the DeLorean, only to find the Indians surrounding the DeLorean, holding a ceremony around it and wearing pieces from it. The Indian chief is behind the wheel of the car, wearing the license plate around his neck, honking the horn and having lots of fun with it. Doc and Marty watch this from behind a rock. Doc repremands Marty on leaving the car unlocked in a strange neighborhood and Marty replies that he never thought there'd be Indians at....Indian Rock Park. Only then he realizes why the place got it's name!

The two time travelers talk a bit, trying to figure out a way to get at the car without being killed. Marty mentiones that Doc had some spare parts in the trunk (which, in DeLoreans, is under the hood). Doc then gets an idea. After the Indians are asleep, Marty sneaks in and pops the trunk. He then retrieves the DeLorean's remote control unit, which he gives to Doc! Doc then uses it to start the car, freak out the Indians, and drive it over to them. Unfortunately, the car bottoms out on a gully and the engine falls out the back! Ooops.

Doc and Marty are driving the DeLorean back, stagecoach-style with the horses, when they hear a woman scream. They stop the vehical and find a woman being backed up to a cliff's edge by Black Biff Tannen. The cliff's earth gives way and the woman clings to a root, yelling for help. Doc shoots at Tannen and orders him to give his guns over. Tannen is ticked, but complies, then leaves, threatening revenge. Doc helps the woman onto solid ground and meets Clara Clayton for the first time--a schoolteacher who was widowed (!) in Silver City. It's love at first sight, again, but Clara is more aggressive in this draft then in the film. She acts, a bit, like Lorraine in 1955.

Doc brings her to her house next to the school on the DeLorean (which Clara thinks is a "surrey")--then she and Doc spend the whole day inside while Marty waits anxiously outside, finally honking the horn to get him outta there. While the two are returning back to Doc's place, Marty recalls the story about "Clayton Cliff! Where we found her. Jennifer and I go up there to make out. They've got a memorial marker with the story: In 1888, a schoolteacher names Clara Clayton fell off the cliff and died. That's why they named it Clayton Cliff." Doc is understandably upset with the history-changing news, but knows he can't really do anything about it at this point.

Doc examines the DeLorean at his place and realizes that the gears in the transmission necessary to get the vehical up to 88 are busted and will take too long to craft by hand. Marty, then, has a highly interesting comment:

"Wait a minute, Doc--you stashed the DeLorean in the Delgago Mine, where it's gonna sit undisturbed until I uncover it in 1955 and bring it back here. Why can't we get that DeLorean and combine it with this one, and go home?"

Doc's reply, however, finally answers that long-debated question, which is brought up in a different way with the DeLorean's gas in the real BTTF3: "Because it creates a paradox. You see, there aren't really two DeLoreans. They're both the same DeLorean at two different points in its life. If we take apart the one in the mine shaft, the "young one," then this one, which is the future version of the "young one," will cease to exist since its history will change. We can no more risk altering the vehicle in the mine than we would interfere with the early life of a human being."

Ah, nice to have a real answer to that puzzle!

So, with that question answered, Doc hits upon the train idea. Doc and Marty grill the conductor and hear that the next train through is 9AM on April 13th. They return to Doc's place, get a map of the tracks in the area, then pinpoint a send off place--Carson Ravine, complete with the partially completed bridge. They go out to see it and, this time, are not interrupted by any woman-in-distress!

While returning to Doc's place from getting some wheels to mount on the DeLorean for the train tracks, Doc and Marty see the tombstone under construction--and have a run in with Tannen outside the shop. Tannen demands his guns back. Doc returns them. Tannen then demands a new horse for the one he had to kill after it broke its leg after Doc shoed it. Doc refuses, Tannen becomes angry, and Marty finally points out that it may have been Tannen's fault, for riding the horse wrong. Tannen challenges him to a duel on Friday, April 13th at "high noon."

After this public confrotation ends, a boy and a girl run up to Doc. The boy has a toy gun and shoots Doc with it, and the girl has a rag doll. Their mother comes up to them and it is revealed that the boy is Abraham Lathrop, and the girl Sarah--Doc's future uncle and mother! When Doc tells Sarah his name (Emmett) she tells him her rag doll is named Emma. Interesting.

On April 11th, Doc demonstrates the plan to Marty on another table-top model. Clara stops by and invites Doc to the barn dance that night. While at the barn dance, the two get really friendly and Marty gets really nervous. He talks a bit to his ancestor. Clara requests a slow song and she and Doc dance close, which makes Marty go up to the band, take the guitar and a hearing horn from an old woman to amplify the sound, then plays a "Bob Wills western swing tune" with the band for a bit, until shifting to rock and roll, shocking the townspeople--and causing Doc and Clara to slip away off the dancefloor to stargaze. Clara reveals she loves Jules Verne then, which delights Doc--and the two share their first kiss.

Next day, while Doc is working out on a homemade Nautilus machine that also chops wood (!), Marty rants about how much he can't wait to leave the West--and Doc realizes how much he likes it and wants to stay, due to Clara. Marty tries to talk him out of the decision and manages to pull it off. But after setting the DeLorean up on the train tracks the night before, Doc wants to tell her good-bye. Marty advises him not to--but once Marty is asleep, Doc goes to see her, recieves the same treatment he does in the film, then goes to the saloon to get drunk. Once intoxicated, he amuses the entire bar with stories on the future all night long.

Marty wakes at dawn the next morning, notices Doc is missing, and hurries to Clara's place. He meets her at her house as she is leaving for the train station. She tells him she has no idea where Doc is and doesn't care. Marty tries his barn and finally finds him in the saloon, totally plastered. Marty reminds him of their train to catch, but as Doc gets up to go with him, he passes out. The bartender whips up some wake-up juice, which immediately revives Doc. Then Tannen shows up. Marty has enough of his demands after Angus McFly talks to him about it and decides to sneak out the back, while Doc get some horses from his place. Unfortunately, Doc is caught and held hostage, so Marty is forced to face him.

Same events follow like in BTTF3 the film--except, when Tannen is beat and orders one of his gang members to shoot Doc, all the townspeople pull out guns and change Tannen's mind. Angus then offers Tannen an "honest" job working on his farm.

Doc and Marty get away and hurry off to the train, while Clara talks to the salesman who was at the bar with Doc the night before and realizes he was telling the truth. She stops the train, runs into town, but misses Doc and Marty....who are at the DeLorean, which is sitting in the middle of the train tracks. The train stops, Doc and Marty "borrow" it, along with the conductor and engineer. Once they get Doc's special "keg" in the boiler, they jump off.

Meawhile, Clara catches the train and gets Doc's attention when he is about to jump onto the DeLorean. Since they're past "the point of no return," Doc realizes she'll have to come back with them. Clara meets Doc on the train ledge, but after Doc jumps on the DeLorean, Clara is too scared to follow--so Doc gets the hoverboard, gets her off the train, then is left behind as the DeLorean hits 88 and goes into the future.

The rest of this script follows the rest of the film almost identically.


The novel of Back to the Future Part III is nearly the same as the film--with the exception of a few scenes. The part in the book that is most noticably different from the film is Marty's encounter with his ancestors. It's much longer in the book, with more conversation. (We find out, for instance, that the McFlys came from a place in Ireland called Ballybowhill.)

During this part, there is a very amusing scene involving Marty and an outhouse. Seamus has no idea what Marty means when he asks if he can use the bathroom. ("Bath room. Curious turn of a phrase. Sure'n it don't make much sense.") The first time I read that scene, shortly after I saw the film in the theater when I was 11, I laughed so hard that my aunt, driving a car at the time, nearly ran it off the road. I still wonder to this day if the filmmakers ever filmed this "extended" version of Marty meeting his ancestors, or it was cut out of the filming schedule because of cost or time (since Michael J. Fox would be two people at once).

When retrieving the DeLorean from Delgado mine, there is more dialogue than in the film, with Doc reminicing about spending summers at Statler Ranch as a boy. As this was said before Doc mentioned his love of Jules Verne, perhaps it was filmed and then the scene shortened.

Likewise, when Doc is preparing to send Marty back at the drive-in, there is more dialogue. I have a picture of one of the additional scenes (which can be found in the BTTF3 soundtrack CD jacket)--where Marty opens the DeLorean door for Doc to lean down and give him a few last words--so I think some of this was filmed.

When Marty arrives in 1885, he does not immediately run into his ancestors. Instead, he spends most of September 2nd hiking. He hits the fence when he accidentally trips down the hill, instead of running away from a bear.

Marshall Strickland, in the novel, was killed off by Buford Tannen on the morning the outlaw had his showdown with "Clint Eastwood." It was for this reason Tannen was arrested, not for robbing the Pine City Stage. Weirdly enough, this is mentioned repeatedly in the rare "Back to the Future Annual" book.

Only in the novel is it revealed that Doc named his horses in the old west after scientists--Archimedes, Newton, and Galileo.



TO BE CONTINUED...?

When you look at all this stuff and compare it to the final films, it really gives you a sense for the evolution of a story and a film. Maybe someday soon the scenes that were filmed differently, or cut from the movies altogether, will surface and we can see some of this stuff on a TV or movie screen instead of merely by the mental pictures in our minds. It makes you wonder what else Bob Zemeckis and Bob Gale dreamed up for these characters while working on these timeless movies. And, who knows, maybe someday I can add the evolution of a Back to the Future Part IV here!