Part II Minute 53 – Alternate Exposition

Part 2 Minute-00053

Doc uses a chalkboard to explain how the timeline has changed, resulting in an alternate 1985.

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3 thoughts on “Part II Minute 53 – Alternate Exposition

  1. The multiple timelines co-existing at the same time theory is the best explanation for some of the paradoxes in the film. For example, Old Biff gives Young Biff the almanac. Because of this change in history, Biff will not grow up to be a 77 year old who travels back to give himself the book, which would cause a paradox. Similarly, because Old Biff warns Young Biff about a “wild eyed old man claiming to be a scientist,” we assume Biff had Doc committed. With Doc committed, there is no DeLorean time machine – another paradox. But if we are to assume that all of those events still take place in the original timeline, it is all possible.
    Notice how Doc creates a skewed parallel timeline on the chalk board. It is parallel, it does not replace the original timeline at all. All of these timelines exist, and Doc and Marty are in theory simply trying to change the alternative timeline into a timeline that more closely resembles the one they know and love.

    Check out the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physic by Hugh Everett III (father of musician Mark Everett of the eels.). This seems to be the theory Doc is working from, but he simplified interested for Marty.

    This minute really explains all of the rules of BTTF time travel. It’s all right here. (Except for the ripple effect, I guess.)

  2. [00:00]
    Ugh, so this is my favorite minute in the movie, hands down. If I had been asked back for Part 2, I would’ve chosen this minute. I think it’s because we finally get some explanation as to how time travel is supposed to work in the BTTF universe after 1-1/2 movies of not getting any kind of explanation other than “Quick, Marty, get in the caaaaaaaar! We have to go do things now!”

    [02:06]
    Check out that candle holder next to Doc’s blackboard! Holy shit, how often has Doc been using that candle for light? Look at how long the drippings are!

    [02:40]
    Personally, I kind of wonder if Doc’s electricity had gotten cut off before he’d been committed in 1983, and he’d been burning down those candles to save on his electric bill.

    [05:01]
    Omg, I love Mike. The victorious theme song just made me laugh *harder*.

    All joking aside, it’s not necessarily genocide.

    Now, to me, there’s a difference between alternate timelines, and alternate universes.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been in fandom so long, but alternate universes are things like, “What if everyone was a lizardman?” or “What if time travel never existed, and Marty had been born in 1932, and he and Doc became besties anyway?”

    Alternate timelines are basically what happens in the movies — someone goes back in time, trips over a rock, and oh wow, things are happening differently and the person who changed things has to make the decision of whether or not to fix their mistake. Just like Mike said, “time will either excise a traveler who can be easily removed, or insulate a time traveler who’s still necessary to” fix the issue.

    Now, with alternate timelines, whatever point a time traveler is at, the “future” beyond that point is pure possibility. Now, with a physical artifact that shows the future (the newspapers), it shows the most likely possibility at that moment. Because Griff and his gang go to jail for breaking the Courthouse Mall, they are unable to commit the robbery, and so the headline changes. Because Marty burns the almanac at the end of the movie and Biff is unable to remember any of the sports facts from it, Biff is unable to make millions and murder George McFly, so George’s murder has been changed to something more likely, like he gets given an award for, uh, something. You guys will be better able to see what it is when that minute comes up, really.

    Basically, my point is that you can’t commit genocide if people are only possibilities. Marty might not father twins in the future after 1985, when he doesn’t drag race Needles. Marty might decide to not marry Jennifer after all, and marry someone else instead. As a result, the combination of DNA that would’ve resulted in Marty Jr. and Marlene doesn’t happen, and so they won’t exist. It’s not genocide, because it’s only those two, and their potential descendants.

    [09:10]
    Awww, Einstein’s bed. And CL adding the bit to the number 5 is lovely. Those little bits are things that I love about this minute. 😀

    [12:20]
    Oh, God, Lorraine hitting on Calvin Klein in Doc’s garage. That frantic look on CL’s face is just, “ARE YOU SHITTING ME? WHAT. IS. SHE. DOING. HERE. RED ALERT!” <3333

    [16:01]
    I dunno if the car would still be a DeLorean because those things are damn hard to find nowadays. They were POS's back in the '80s, and the only reason that they've stayed in the public consciousness is because of BTTF.

    [16:23]
    Omg. Imagine if the terrorists were driving a DeLorean while they were chasing down Marty driving a VW Bus. hahahahaha omg no.

    [16:45]
    When you can get through a time travel ramble quickly, that means you did a good job explaining it. 😀

  3. We do not for sure know that Beta Marty actually goes to 1955. I have a theory that he goes to 1967 and follows the 67 draft through the 67 part. This also explains why we don’t see beta Marty in the 1955 revisited section of Part 2. I’m not sure if there is any evidence to support this claim but I really enjoy the thought of both drafts being in the canon.

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