Back to the Future Part III



So in Part Two we learn the dangers of time travel and how mere mortals aren't meant to tamper with time. But when Doc Brown of 1955 learns that he can add additional years to a life that's already long-lived and extended through artificial means, this self-serving sociopath sends Marty further into the past so he can have even more time to change history according to his whims. What about ethics? "THERE'S NO TIME FOR THAT, MARTY! WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH OUR CHARACTER ARCS!"

It's at this last film in the series where Doc is overcome with a sort of madness over the potential of time travel. While he's happy to live 100 years in the past and lord his knowledge over the primitive yokels, he draws lines arbitrarily (like at the mere suggestion of a romantic relationship with a living, adult female) and his mood swings soon take a turn for the violent and unpredictable. Also, his decisions are irrational and nonsensical; with little time left before his death, Doc spends precious hours creating a model to explain his idea to Marty, when he could have just conveyed the concept in words and started working on the actual project immediately.

When it becomes clear that saving his life and building another working time machine will give him ultimate power over man and beast, the citizens of 1885 Hill Valley become mere pawns in Doc's game of chess against God. Trains are stolen, cargo is destroyed, and an entire town's economy is ruined just so Doctor Emmett Brown can live a few more years as an affront to the laws of creation. What does he care, when he's already knowingly infected most of the citizens with modern airborne diseases they don't yet have the technology to fight?


When you watch the Back to the Future movies, just think about the untold atrocities and human suffering Doc Brown could prevent with his time machine. Then look at the efforts both he and Marty take to overcome and eventually profit from minor, individual issues that could be easily managed through self-reflection and personal growth. Brown may try to sum up his atrocities by glibly stating "The future is what you make of it!" at the end of the trilogy, but what he clearly means is "The future is what I make of it because I have a time machine and so help me God if you get in my way! MARTY!"

This has been my Master's Thesis and I would like to thank the committee for their consideration.

– Bob "BobServo" Mackey with jokes stolen from Michael Bury

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