User Avatar Image

Back to the Future: The Expanded Universe

posted by bttf4444 on - last edited - Viewed by 1.1K users

I'm trying to figure out if The Ride and The Animated Series are compatible with each other. Both were released in the year 1991. Here is what I think might happen.

Perhaps, the after a couple years, the Brown family decides to settle back into the future - since the boys do seem to be a few years older in TAS. Of course, they'll need a good explanation of where his wife and children came from. Then, after awhile, he sets up the Institute of Future Technology. Perhaps, Bill Nye is one of his time travel associates at the IFT - and a certain wing of the IFT is using for Doc to teach his budding young scientists.

After a few months of working with his colleagues, he finally lets them in on his secret - and, of course, he swears them to secrecy. He then purchases another DeLorean, which they use for time travel experiments.

Then, sometime later, he purchases another DeLorean - and creates a device that allows the DeLorean to travel to places outside outside of Hill Valley. That may even be the DeLorean that he used to visit Edison, the Wright brothers, Einstein, et al. He decides to keep that one for home use, though.

Then, finally, he creates the eight-passenger DeLorean - which the time travel volunteers were the first ones to use.

Also, sometime between 1986 and 1991, Marty gets seriously injured - and is in a coma for a few weeks. He never fully recovers - and, as such, that's why he's such a dufus in TAS. Also, from spending a lot of time at the IFT, Doc has grown accustomed to using technical speech even with his family. Of course, Jules takes after him.

How does that sound?

If we throw in The Game, it would make things even more complex. Of course, there is a conflict between The Game and the TAS episode "Gone Fishing". I'll have to re-watch that episode, but it might not make a big difference to imagine that the events of that episode occurred nine years earlier. Beauregard Tannen exists in both TAS and The Game, and he very well could be the same person.

I suppose the events of The Ride and TAS would occur in the final timeline. I guess Doc decides to live part-time in 1985-1986 - and then, a few years later, he finally decides to bring his entire family into the present. That also gives him plenty of time to set up the IFT.

There is only a question of when exactly Future Doc of Episode Five decided to show up in 1931. At first, he was very confused by what Marty was doing in 1931, and he seemed to not remember being "Carl Sagan". Then, I guess, after returning to 1986 - he runs into his older self*. His older self is then able to finish his present for Marty, and then gives it to his younger self to give to Marty.

* Remember, there's still that part in Episode Three where Doc vanishes - upon returning to 1986. In the final timeline, he wouldn't vanish. So I guess my theory is the it's a slightly younger older Doc we saw in Episode Five.

If you want to go even further, we could also figure out how to include the Looney Labs card game into the expanded universe.

It's best to not even try to include things like the DirecTV advert, the Nike advert, the Check Your Coat music video, the Microsoft Tech Ed, the Universal Studios Promo, or the Earth Day special into the expanded universe - but I think including the adverts for Garbarino can fit into the expanded universe, quite well.

These videos include:

Doc Arrives in Argentina 2011
Security Video Footage
Doc at a Conference
Garbarino vs Doc's Garage
Young Emmett and His Mother
Time Sleigh

I think they actually could fit into The Ride Universe, specifically.

17 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @bttf4444 said: Maybe it is better to just see them all as being separate universes, especially if another gaming company was to take on BTTF - they wouldn't really have the rights to the characters and such that Telltale Games created. They would have to create an entirely different continuation to the trilogy.

    Gone Fishin' is the most problematic episode from TAS to try to reconcile with the Game-verse, due to Emmett being established as different ages.

    Would be interesting, though - if TAS-verse Doc, Ride-verse Doc, and Game-verse Doc were to meet each other. Also, TAS and The Ride are probably more compatible with each other, than either are with The Game.

    In general, I don't really accept anything else other than the films themselves as canon - even though I've include Edna Strickland from The Game and various TAS characters into my universe. Arthur and Sylvia (both also from the novelization of the first film) are also included, but they're not really like how they were established in The Game. My Sylvia is Swedish - and has been so, long before The Game was even being planned. Also included are Ellen Baines and Marty's birthday from the Number Two Draft (where Doc and Marty go back to 1967, instead of 1955, to get the almanac back from Biff).

    I'm glad that The Game included Beauregard Tannen and Verne's love for video games, so it's cool that they made some references to TAS.

    Come to think of it, I wonder if we're gonna get anything new from the BTTF franchise in the year 2015.

    Still, it would be interesting to imagine that Biff Tannen Jr (from TAS) and Tiffany Tannen (from The Game) are siblings - even though I was never too fond of the name "Biff Jr". I always thought "Cliff" should've been the name of Biff's son and Griff's father.



    I don't thinkt he animated series or ride can be in the same universe. The ride takes place in 1991 (well technically the present is whichever day the person is on it but 1991 is the year it starts) and the series 1991-1992. There is clearly no 'hill valley institute' in the animated series. The game and series can't be either because seems during the game jules and verne are closer to college days whereas they're kids in the series (seems doc actually skips time in the game since they're less than 6 years older than they were at the end of part III). The game and ride COULD be the same universe depending what happens the next five years.


    I personally think the only thing which is sacred should be the trilogy itself. Everything else is merely 'what ifs'

  • User Avatar Image
    Jennifer Moderator

    While I have no problem with the idea of the different media being from different universes, the point about Doc and his family being different ages in the movies vs the game and the animated series doesn't mean you can't fit it into canon.

    The game established Doc is comfortable having his kids live in different time periods (he mentioned wanting to have Jules and Verne go to college in either the 1960's or the 2020's). There's no reason a younger Doc, Clara, Jules, and Verne couldn't time travel to 1991 and live with Marty while he's in college (and as for the supposed age difference of Marty - it's not unheard of for people to take a few years off from school before they start college. Marty would be 23 in 1991. That's definitely still college age).

    And if you really want to squeeze the ride into canon, that could be done too with the same thing I said about time travel earlier. Doc could have come from any point and established the Institute of Future Technology in 1991. While it seems like Doc wouldn't have wanted to have two of himself in the same time, the ride seemed to indicate the Institute was pretty top secret, so maybe Doc thought his other self wouldn't know the institute was there so he wasn't worried about meeting his other self.

    Oh, one more thing out of curiosity: where is the reference to Emmett's age in Gone Fishin'? I just watched it and I must have missed it.

  • @Jennifer said: While I have no problem with the idea of the different media being from different universes, the point about Doc and his family being different ages in the movies vs the game and the animated series doesn't mean you can't fit it into canon.

    The game established Doc is comfortable having his kids live in different time periods (he mentioned wanting to have Jules and Verne go to college in either the 1960's or the 2020's). There's no reason a younger Doc, Clara, Jules, and Verne couldn't time travel to 1991 and live with Marty while he's in college (and as for the supposed age difference of Marty - it's not unheard of for people to take a few years off from school before they start college. Marty would be 23 in 1991. That's definitely still college age).

    And if you really want to squeeze the ride into canon, that could be done too with the same thing I said about time travel earlier. Doc could have come from any point and established the Institute of Future Technology in 1991. While it seems like Doc wouldn't have wanted to have two of himself in the same time, the ride seemed to indicate the Institute was pretty top secret, so maybe Doc thought his other self wouldn't know the institute was there so he wasn't worried about meeting his other self.

    Oh, one more thing out of curiosity: where is the reference to Emmett's age in Gone Fishin'? I just watched it and I must have missed it.



    I dont think there is a reference but pretty sure Gone Fishin takes place in the 1930's with Emmet being a young child

    The institute of future technology is clearly located in Hill valley, no way Doc would set up shop in the same town and same time as his other self. In the game marty seems to be his natural age (23) but it doesn't seem as though Jules and Verne have aged six years since the end of part III.

  • I just watched Gone Fishin' the other day, and they went back to 1926 - when young Emmett was four.

    I guess it's hard to even try to fit the Ride and TAS together, much less The Game. Although, I've noticed they did use some features from The Ride in the live action sequences of TAS. But, yeah, there really wasn't any indication in TAS that the Institute of Future Technology existed.

    I guess it's best just to view them as three semi-canon possible ways the series could continue. Although, it is cool that TAS did fit in some things from The Ride (such as the Thomas Edison autograph) - and The Game, in turn, fit in some things from TAS.

    Also, regarding the fact that Jules and Verne are nearing college age in The Game - I think that mostly applied to the point in time that Doc in Episodes One and Two came from. I think the Doc we see in Episode Five, though, came from an earlier point in time. So it could still be possible that, in Episode Five, Jules and Verne are younger.

    The other possibility could be that Doc and his family decided to settle in the late-'80s or early-'90s - and then, about a decade later, Doc goes back to the '30s. Perhaps, originally, older Marty felt resentful that Doc didn't even give him a graduation gift - so Doc decides to amend that.

    Even though, for the most part, I agree that the three probably don't fit too well together - we must remember to "think fourth dimensionally". Even if we don't accept TAS as part of the Game-verse, it could still be possible that Doc and his family decided to settle in 1991 (at least, initially).

    BTW, at the end of the trilogy, I think Jules was either six or seven - while Verne was four or five. Even though, they were ten and eight in TAS.

  • I see the Movies, Ride and Game fitting into the same canon, with some themes from TAS being represented.

    I definitely see Doc moved back to 1986 with Clara, Jules, Verne and Einstein. Maybe after a year or two meandering around and getting some funds together, Doc founded the Institute of Future Technology by at least 1987.

  • I just got to thinking about this. Perhaps, TAS has two layers of canonicity. One layer is with the live-action sequences, why may be more "real" - where he recounts flashbacks of things that have happened. Then there are the animated series, which are "less" real - and modified for that sake of entertaining children. Now, when I say "canonicity", I mean in the context of TAS alone - not in the context of any relation to the films' canon.

    As such, perhaps, we could imagine that the events of TAS did occur - but not necessarily in every little detail as they were shown.

    That said, in the live action sequences, I do wonder who Doc was talking to (in-universe, that is). I figured that it probably could fit in with the Ride-verse, where Doc and his assistant are relating stories to and teaching budding young scientists. Perhaps, there's a specific wing in the IFT for young children who want to become scientists.

  • Please, let's not consider the animated series canon. I agree that the game should be canon, but not the cartoon series. For the life of me, I can't figure out why so many people like the cartoon series. It was a typical Saturday morning cartoon, lacking the spirit and moodiness that the movies had. Though the movies were generally lighthearted, they still portrayed some dark moments that accentuated the seriousness of time travel. I would just rather the cartoon series be forgotten.

  • @AdventureGamer said: Please, let's not consider the animated series canon. I agree that the game should be canon, but not the cartoon series. For the life of me, I can't figure out why so many people like the cartoon series. It was a typical Saturday morning cartoon, lacking the spirit and moodiness that the movies had. Though the movies were generally lighthearted, they still portrayed some dark moments that accentuated the seriousness of time travel. I would just rather the cartoon series be forgotten.



    The cartoon was basically a cartoon; it had the silly animations and unrealism that a childrens cartoon would (ie eyes popping out of peoples head, smoke coming when they run fast etc). The game used realistic animations.

  • As I said before, I generally only consider the films to become - although I have borrowed characters and such from TAS, The Game, and even some of the early BTTF drafts (the latter of which certainly can't be considered canon).

    I agree that TAS doesn't really stand up to the films, but it's still kind of fun of the watch. Also, it's the only part of the franchise that really gives any indication to the personalities of Jules and Verne - although The Game did also seem to indicate that Verne had a penchant for video games, but nothing was really suggested about Jules (other than he was about ready to enter college, at the beginning of the game).

    There could still be new additions to the BTTF franchise to come - some of which might end up contradicting The Ride, TAS, or The Game. Especially if another gaming company decided to take on BTTF, they wouldn't have the rights to the characters or anything else that Telltale Games established. It was probably just a coincidence that Looney Labs and Telltale Games both had a Tiffany Tannen - since I'm sure that most of us, at some point, wondered who Biff's child/Griff's parent would be. Biff Jr from TAS seems too young to be Griff's father - although, granted, the Tannens aren't exactly known for having morals.

  • @AdventureGamer said: Please, let's not consider the animated series canon. I agree that the game should be canon, but not the cartoon series. For the life of me, I can't figure out why so many people like the cartoon series. It was a typical Saturday morning cartoon, lacking the spirit and moodiness that the movies had. Though the movies were generally lighthearted, they still portrayed some dark moments that accentuated the seriousness of time travel. I would just rather the cartoon series be forgotten.



    This.

Add Comment