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Which Doc? *Chapter 5 Spoilers*

posted by adrian2040 on - last edited - Viewed by 1.5K users

I've just arrived to the point Doc comes back because he read the newspaper about the Key to the City, but then Hill Valley disappears.

Is this Doc the one after the 3 movies? I do remember watching in the movies that the Doc would later obtain the Key to the City, but considering the date of this newspaper...

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  • I've started a thread on this subject as well...Doc doesn't appear to remember the events of Episodes 1 and 2, and wonders why Marty's in 1931, but in the end, he claims that he travelled back to 1931 to find out about Marty's grandmother to write the family tree...

    It seems that we essentially have Docs from 3 different timelines roaming around at different points in 1931...

    The first Doc to arrive in 1931 is the Lone Pine/Eastwood timeline Doc we've been following in the movies...this Doc, after BTTF3, either lived in the Old West, or was travelling through time all the time (pun intended)...at some point, he picks up the duplicated Delorean in 2025, and travels back to 1931, to research Marty's family tree, assuming the identity of Carl Sagan. He ends up being arrested and accused of being the speakeasy arsonist. He's the Doc we follow in Episodes 1 and 2...and he eventually gets erased from existence owing to the younger Emmett Brown falling in love with Edna, drastically changing the future...as soon as he returns to 1986.

    The second Doc to arrive in 1931 is the Doc from the First Citizen Brown timeline...he's the Doc we follow in Episodes 3, 4 and the early part of 5; he never invented a time machine, was married to Edna and nearly brainwashed by her, but repaired the time machine of his counterpart (the first Doc) and travelled back in time with Marty, assuming the Carl Sagan identity of the previous Doc. He tries to sabotage Emmett's experiment but failed. The younger Edna double-crosses him and steals his Delorean (actually the Delorean of the erased first Doc). Owing to Edna's influence being removed from the younger Emmett's life, his timeline is now completely erased, and thus, he himself is erased from existence (though he was seriously injured anyway from being run over).

    The third Doc to arrive in 1931 is the Doc we follow through the latter half of Episode 5, and his history is a little less clear. He remembers meeting Marty back in 1931, and is given a newspaper article about the future by Marty, which he keeps with him till 1986...apparently, after the events of BTTF3, he lives in 1986 Hill Valley, and owing to his far better relationship with his father, he runs a foundation in the latter's name. This Doc apparently travels back to 1931 simply because he remembers Marty being there. He is also in possession of a Delorean, albeit one that is completely distinct from the Delorean used by Lone Pine/Eastwood Doc and FCB Doc...the origins of his Delorean are unclear. Yet, in the end, he claims he did travel to 1931 to research Marty's family tree, which is something the Lone Pine/Eastwood Doc did...he apparently, doesn't remember being jailed or accused of being the speakeasy arsonist.

  • Here's my theory.

    I believe it's the same Doc as in Episodes 1 and 2, but somewhat different.

    The movies go as planned, however, instead of going back to 1885 at the end (or wherever he decides to go), he and Clara stay and make their part time residence.

    At some point, Doc still goes back to 1931 to get the info on Marty's grandma, Trixie/Sylvia, and gets arrested due to the speakeasy fire. We don't know exactly when he goes back though. The DeLorean goes to retrieve Marty in 1986, and Marty goes back to 1931 to rescue Doc. After going back to the future, and seeing the "Tannen Crime Family" timeline, they return to 1931 as in the old timeline. They get Kid Tannen arrested, and return to May 15, 1986. This time, Doc doesn't fade out, and is scheduled to receive the Key to the City later in the day.

    At some point when Doc is not with Marty in 1986, Marty most likely fades from existence since he is currently in 1931, trying to break up Emmett and Edna.

    Doc in 1986 doesn't realize this until he receives the Key to the City and looks at the newspaper snippet he received in 1931, realizes it's the same Marty from 1986, and returns to 1931 to rescue him.

    Now I know lots of people will say, "But wait! How could Doc come from 1986 if Hill Valley was destroyed in a fire in 1876?"

    It's because Edna's trip to 1876 doesn't occur until moments after Doc arrives back in 1931.

    Therefore in summary, it's the same Doc from Episodes 1 and 2, just somewhat altered lifestyle, having made amends with his father at 17.


    I know, it sounds confusing. It's a wonder the space-time hasn't already been destroyed!

  • @zelda42293 said: Here's my theory.

    I believe it's the same Doc as in Episodes 1 and 2, but somewhat different.

    The movies go as planned, however, instead of going back to 1885 at the end (or wherever he decides to go), he and Clara stay and make their part time residence.

    At some point, Doc still goes back to 1931 to get the info on Marty's grandma, Trixie/Sylvia, and gets arrested due to the speakeasy fire. We don't know exactly when he goes back though. The DeLorean goes to retrieve Marty in 1986, and Marty goes back to 1931 to rescue Doc. After going back to the future, and seeing the "Tannen Crime Family" timeline, they return to 1931 as in the old timeline. They get Kid Tannen arrested, and return to May 15, 1986. This time, Doc doesn't fade out, and is scheduled to receive the Key to the City later in the day.

    At some point when Doc is not with Marty in 1986, Marty most likely fades from existence since he is currently in 1931, trying to break up Emmett and Edna.

    Doc in 1986 doesn't realize this until he receives the Key to the City and looks at the newspaper snippet he received in 1931, realizes it's the same Marty from 1986, and returns to 1931 to rescue him.

    Now I know lots of people will say, "But wait! How could Doc come from 1986 if Hill Valley was destroyed in a fire in 1876?"

    It's because Edna's trip to 1876 doesn't occur until moments after Doc arrives back in 1931.

    Therefore in summary, it's the same Doc from Episodes 1 and 2, just somewhat altered lifestyle, having made amends with his father at 17.


    I know, it sounds confusing. It's a wonder the space-time hasn't already been destroyed!

    I pretty much agree here. IMO, the net effect of Emmet's life is the same, except for the Foundation in the new timeline. Marty, once again through changing things, brings about a better Hill Valley once his time travel has completed and resolved all paradoxes.
    When it comes to the new timeline, the important part in both of the ones we've seen is not the fact that young Emmet saw Frankenstein, but that he saw the raw power of lightning, mentally analyzed what it was, then remembered some of the properties of static electricity.
    The idea I'm talking about comes from the GURPS: Time Travel book's example on the assassination of Lincoln. Obviously, the time travelers who wanted to prevent Lincoln's assassination failed, as it's the history we're all familiar with. BUT, what about the team that went back to convince Lincoln to fake his death?

  • I see it this way:

    In the originals Twin-Pine to Eastwood timelines, the 1931 Speakeasy fire was a mistery in Hill Valley. This incident doesn't have anything to do with the McFly family.

    Ep1-Doc (Bad relation with his father, meaning no Erhardt Brown Foundation and no reason to stay), wanting to give a present to Marty for his upcoming graduation, goes back to 1931 to research for Marty's grandmother, but while he's already there, sidetrack to find the answer to the Fire mistery, which he later got blamed for. His DeLorean goes back to Marty in 1986.

    Ep5-Doc (Better relation with his father, meaning Erhardt Brown Foundation, meaning reasons to come back ocassionally) went back to 1931 to do the research on Marty's grandma just like Ep1-Doc, but didn't get sidetracked by the speakeasy fire because, in his timeline, there was no mistery, as he knew that Edna Strickland did it, because he heard her confession from Marty's recording. His DeLorean doesn't go back to Marty in 1986.

    The DeLorean Marty used throughout the Game is the equivalent to Doc's tombstone in 1955 in BTTF3.

    - As Doc didn't die in 1885, there's no tombstone.
    - As Doc didn't get arrested in 1931, there's no alternate DeLorean.

  • @Carlos85G said: I see it this way:

    In the originals Twin-Pine to Eastwood timelines, the 1931 Speakeasy fire was a mistery in Hill Valley. This incident doesn't have anything to do with the McFly family.

    Ep1-Doc (Bad relation with his father, meaning no Erhardt Brown Foundation and no reason to stay), wanting to give a present to Marty for his upcoming graduation, goes back to 1931 to research for Marty's grandmother, but while he's already there, sidetrack to find the answer to the Fire mistery, which he later got blamed for. His DeLorean goes back to Marty in 1986.

    Ep5-Doc (Better relation with his father, meaning Erhardt Brown Foundation, meaning reasons to come back ocassionally) went back to 1931 to do the research on Marty's grandma just like Ep1-Doc, but didn't get sidetracked by the speakeasy fire because, in his timeline, there was no mistery, as he knew that Edna Strickland did it, because he heard her confession from Marty's recording. His DeLorean doesn't go back to Marty in 1986.

    The DeLorean Marty used throughout the Game is the equivalent to Doc's tombstone in 1955 in BTTF3.

    - As Doc didn't die in 1885, there's no tombstone.
    - As Doc didn't get arrested in 1931, there's no alternate DeLorean.

    Yeah, that does make a bit of sense. However, are you then suggesting there would be two Doc's simultaneously at some point in June 1931...Ep 1 Doc who's in jail and Ep 5 Doc who isn't?

    Not that there's anything particular wrong with that, but I'm a bit confused.

    As for the two Delorean's I've come up with a better explanation for that...a lot of people assume its the exact same Delorean, albeit which has followed 'two different paths' after Ep 2, and that Edna's Delorean fades from existence, because the fate of the other one is the car's 'true' destiny.

    However, this is an alternative explanation.

    Even before the FCB timeline is created, the first Delorean is malfunctioning. The time circuits are broken right at the start. I think this Delorean is inherently unstable as its a temporal duplicate of the original, which is why it keeps acting up throughout the game. In the original timeline, Doc picks it up in 2015 because he time travelled there using his train, and then uses it to travel to 1931.

    However, in the revised timeline, Doc was living in 1986 and wasn't time travelling as much as he did in the previous timelines. So I think its likely that, rather than picking up an unstable temporal duplicate in 2025, he simply built a new time machine while in 1986 (and of course got it upgraded in the future). Which is why his Delorean is more stable and works better.

    Now as for Edna's Delorean fading...well, its inherently unstable, being a duplicate, and as such the stunt Doc pulls off in Ep 5 (forcibly bringing it to 1931) made it so unstable that it erased.

  • I could have sworn Marty said something along the lines, "I know, me and you where there in 1885" and Doc said something along the lines "We were?" and Marty said "I'll tell you about it later".

    Or was I dreaming?

  • @Iggman88 said: I could have sworn Marty said something along the lines, "I know, me and you where there in 1885" and Doc said something along the lines "We were?" and Marty said "I'll tell you about it later".

    Or was I dreaming?

    Marty does mention 1885, but Doc never says "We were?"

    There is no question that Doc would remember the 1885 trip...otherwise there is NO WAY he would be married to Clara.

  • @sn939 said: Marty does mention 1885, but Doc never says "We were?"

    There is no question that Doc would remember the 1885 trip...otherwise there is NO WAY he would be married to Clara.

    Well, that's what I mean, (I thought) he said something that he doesn't remember (something about 1885) and the immediately he mentioned Clara and the kids, that's why it confused the heck outta me. I can't remember what exactly he was talking about.

    Off to play it again!!! xD

  • @Iggman88 said: Well, that's what I mean, (I thought) he said something that he doesn't remember (something about 1885) and the immediately he mentioned Clara and the kids, that's why it confused the heck outta me. I can't remember what exactly he was talking about.

    Off to play it again!!! xD

    This is what the new Doc's (Ep 5 version's) timeline would be like from his POV-

    On June 13th 1931, Emmett Brown meets 'Michael Corleone', who encourages him to build a rocket drill and then borrows it. Corleone then disappears, leaving behind his dog, 'Einstien', whom Emmett uses in his experiments for the next 2 months.

    On August 25th, Emmett meets up with Corleone again, and helps capture Kid Tannen. He and Edna Strickland, consequently fall in love.

    In October (don't remember the date), Edna and Emmett have been dating for two months and Emmett is about to propose to her, and participate in the Expo. Corleone sabotages his and Edna's relationship and reveals that his name is Marty. Emmett meets an old man named 'Carl Sagan' who abducts and imprisons him, until Marty frees him. After patching up things with his father, Emmett's Expo is successful and he dedicates his life to science. Marty gives him a newspaper cutting, making him promise that he won't see it till he gets the Key to the City. Emmett then goes back into the Expo Hall and never sees Marty again in the near future (though he might have heard that his ex-girlfriend was arrested that night).

    Time passes normally for Emmett Brown over the next 24 years. His father dies and he inherits the estate and possibly starts the Foundation. He continues his scientific pursuits. Then on November 5th 1955, he falls off his toilet and envisions the flux capacitor. That night, he meets Marty, who claims to be from the future. Maybe he finds this Marty familiar and may recognise him as looking similar to his friend from 1931 (perhaps, knowing Marty's a time traveller, he may even put two and two together, but for the sake of the space-time continuum, let's forget that for now). He sees the Delorean and realises he's going to successfully invent the time machine. He helps Marty get back to 1985 on November 12th.

    Immediately after, he meets Marty again, who tells him that his future self is trapped in 1885. He uncovers the Delorean from the Delgado Mine. For some reason, Marty decides to go back and rescue Doc from 1885 (maybe its cuz he finds a picture in the library showing both him and Doc by the Clock Tower in 1885)...Marty then goes back to 1885. Emmett leaves the Drive-in theatre, preparing to wait out three decades before he can talk to Marty about what happened.

    Over the next thirty years, Doc develops the time machine. In 1962, the Brown Mansion burns down (though its possible he doesn't get broke in this timeline) and he moves into the garage. In the 1980's he befriends Marty McFly, knowing he's the same kid from 1955 (but he probably doesn't realise its his friend from 1931). At some point, he reads the letter Marty gave him in 1955 and learns about his impending death on the night of the first temporal experiment.

    On October 26th 1985, at Lone Pine Mall, the Libyan terrorists shoot Doc, but he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Marty returns from 1955 and Doc takes the Delorean into the future. In 2015, he gets the rejunevation therapy, and learns about the future of the McFly family. He brings Marty and Jen to 2015 to help their kids. Later, he travels to 1985-A and then, again with Marty, to November 12th 1955. After Marty burns the Almanac, Doc is struck by lightining and sent back to 1885.

    He lives in 1885 for eight months. Then, in September, Marty comes back to rescue him and tells him about his impending death at Bufford's hands (Marty comes from the timeline where he saw the tombstone). Doc saves Clara from falling into Shonash Ravine and they fall in love. Later, Marty gets sent back to 1985, and Doc is left trapped in the past with Clara.

    Clara and Doc get married and over the next ten years, have two kids, Jules and Verne. In 1895, Doc completes his new train time machine, and he and Clara, and the kids, visit Marty and Jennifer in 1985. Now that he has the means to return to his era, and knowing the danger his family poses to the continuum, and also largely because he wishes to manage the foundation he built in memory of his father, he and his family move back to 1985 and build a new house on his property next to the garage.

    Doc lives in the present for about a year, and possibly garners a lot of respect, since he becomes eligible to receive the Key to the City. During this time, he also builds a new Delorean time machine (or possibly takes a trip to 2025 in the train, and retrieves the temporal duplicate of the original). At some point before May 1986, he travels through time to write a history of the McFly family.

    On May 14th 1986, Doc and the family are attending the ceremony at City Hall. Marty in the meantime, from Doc's POV has disappeared mysteriously. The ceremony triggers a 55 year old memory of receiving a newspaper cutting from his old friend Marty. He realises that the 'Marty' in 1931 is in fact his own friend from the present, and that Marty is trapped in the past. He remembers the time he last saw Marty in 1931, and uses the Delorean to travel back there...

    ...which brings us up to his entry in Episode 5.

  • @sn939 said: Yeah, that does make a bit of sense. However, are you then suggesting there would be two Doc's simultaneously at some point in June 1931...Ep 1 Doc who's in jail and Ep 5 Doc who isn't?

    Not that there's anything particular wrong with that, but I'm a bit confused.

    As for the two Delorean's I've come up with a better explanation for that...a lot of people assume its the exact same Delorean, albeit which has followed 'two different paths' after Ep 2, and that Edna's Delorean fades from existence, because the fate of the other one is the car's 'true' destiny.

    However, this is an alternative explanation.

    Even before the FCB timeline is created, the first Delorean is malfunctioning. The time circuits are broken right at the start. I think this Delorean is inherently unstable as its a temporal duplicate of the original, which is why it keeps acting up throughout the game. In the original timeline, Doc picks it up in 2015 because he time travelled there using his train, and then uses it to travel to 1931.

    However, in the revised timeline, Doc was living in 1986 and wasn't time travelling as much as he did in the previous timelines. So I think its likely that, rather than picking up an unstable temporal duplicate in 2025, he simply built a new time machine while in 1986 (and of course got it upgraded in the future). Which is why his Delorean is more stable and works better.

    Now as for Edna's Delorean fading...well, its inherently unstable, being a duplicate, and as such the stunt Doc pulls off in Ep 5 (forcibly bringing it to 1931) made it so unstable that it erased.

    Doc wasn't living in 1986 all the time. He even says that it's a part-time residence, indicating that time travel is indeed a big part of his life still. I believe that, like in the original timeline, he learned of the duplicate DeLorean's existence on a trip to 2025, recovered it, repaired it, made modifications to it "over the years" before his trip to 1931. It's unclear as to whether new Doc was in jail in '31, but it's possible he wasn't. Add to that the DeLorean that Marty had been using(and Edna stole) was suffering from a major case of being smashed into a billboard, being repaired in a rush-job style fashion, and the time circuits weren't up to snuff. And I think being chronometrically linked with what is essentially the exact same vehicle via Doc's chronometric analyzer and flux synch overrides was what began to temporally decompose "Edna's" DeLorean.

    /end nerdisms.

    I say again, we're examining this too closely. :P

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