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Chronology of Back to the Future

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This is a chronology of the events of the Back to the Future universe, including the animated series and the comics.

Timelines

For ease of reading, alternate timelines will be listed in the chronology as they are listed here.

  • Timeline 1: The Original timeline before time travel.
  • Timeline 2: Created after Doc used the prototype temporal field capacitor in 1962.
  • Timeline 3: Created when Marty first went back to 1955 (Einstein's one minute trip into the future isn't given a separate timeline as nothing significant happened as a result of that trip).
  • Timeline 4: Created when Doc went to 1938 from 2015 to make himself rich, enabling him to upgrade the DeLorean, as well as increasing his own lifespan.
  • Timeline 5: Created when Doc went back to 1985 to pick up Marty to have him fix the problems of Marty's future children, which Doc witnessed in 2015.
  • Timeline 6: Created when Biff travelled from 2015 to 1955 to make his younger counterpart rich.
  • Timeline 7: Created when the DeLorean was struck by lightning, sending Doc back to 1885.
  • Timeline 8: Created when Marty travelled from 1885 to 1985, leaving Doc and his new girlfriend Clara Clayton behind in the Old West, and Marty avoided the drag race with Needles.
  • Timeline 9: Created when Doc left 1893 in the steam time car for 2035, suffering amnesia before his trip to 1986.
  • Timeline 10: Created when Doc returned to 1893 after dropping Marty and Jennifer off in 1986 and picking up Einstein.
  • Timeline 11: Created when Doc travelled back to 1931 and the time duplicate DeLorean travelled without him to 1986.
  • Timeline 12: Created when Marty delivered the subpoena to his grandfather in 1931.
  • Timeline 13: Created when Marty prevented Kid Tannen from being arrested in 1931.
  • Timeline 14: Created when Marty caused Emmett Brown to marry Edna Strickland.
  • Timeline 15: Created when Edna Strickland stole the DeLorean in 1931 and headed back to 1876.
  • Timeline 16: Created when Edna was arrested for arson in 1931 and Doc and Marty returned to 1986.

1st century A.D.

  • 36: Marty McFly arrives in ancient Rome under the alias "Marticus" and Bifficus Antanneny challenges Marticus to a chariot race. Bifficus must win the race in order to remain popular with the masses, in order that Caligula succeeds Tiberius Caesar as Emperor in 37 A.D., an event that Doc sees as the turning point in the decline of the Roman Empire. [1]

100s

1300s

1500s

1600s

1700s

  • 1790
    • Date unknown: Two bank robbers from 1991 arrive in Australia after stealing the DeLorean with Einstein inside [8]

1800s

1840s

  • 1845
    • Wednesday, December 24: Marty and the Brown family arrive in London on Christmas Eve in order to escape the July heat [9]

1850s

1860s

1870s

  • 1870
  • 1875
    • Date unknown: Thaddeus Tannen forces Wendell Parker to sign a deed to the Parker Ranch, but buries the paper.
  • 1876
    • Date unknown: Beauregard Tannen moves to Hill Valley after the Civil War and starts building a saloon
    • Monday, July 17: Edna Strickland arrives in the past under the name "Mary Pickford" and tries to burn down Tannen's saloon, but ends up burning Hill Valley with it. However, Doc and Marty arrive to stop her abd get her back to 1931, there, Marty sees a portrait of his grandma Sylvia's ancestor, Delores.

1880s

  • 1883
    • Monday, August 27: The volcano Krakatoa erupts in Indonesia. Walter Wisdom travels to the exact time and location in an attempt to have his pursuers (Doc and family) incinerated in the eruption. [17]
  • 1884
    • Date unknown: Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen shoots twelve men, not including Indians or Chinamen, before the end of this year according to a newspaper article. The article has no follow-ups because Tannen killed its editor. [18]
  • 1885
    • Thursday, January 1
      • 12:00 a.m. Dr. Emmett Brown accidentally arrives from Timeline 6. Stranded in the past, he sets up as a blacksmith in Hill Valley.[19]
    • Date unknown between January 1 and September 3: Blacksmith Emmett Brown is hired by Buford Tannen to shoe Buford's horse, but is not paid. After getting thrown off his horse and breaking a bottle of whiskey, Buford blames Doc for the accident and demands a total of eighty dollars from him; five dollars for the whiskey and seventy-five dollars for the horse, which was shot.
    • April: William Sean McFly born, first son to Seamus and Maggie McFly and the first McFly born in America.
    • Saturday, July 4: Doc passes out after drinking one shot of whiskey at the 4th of July celebrations.
    • Saturday, August 29: There is a meeting of the townspeople over who will pick up the new schoolteacher on September 4. Doc volunteers.
    • Tuesday, September 1: Doc buries the broken DeLorean time machine in the Delgado Mine.[19] He writes a letter to be delivered personally by Western Union to Marty McFly on November 12, 1955 exactly at 9:45 p.m. to the exact stretch of road he was hovering above when he was struck by lightning.
    • Wednesday, September 2:
    • Thursday, September 3: Marty runs into Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen, great grandfather of Biff Tannen, and upsets him, causing Tannen to nearly hang Marty. Doc saves Marty in time. Marty informs Doc of his impending death involving Clara Clayton and Buford Tannen. Aware that he will fall in love with Clara Clayton and worried about changing his future, Doc decides not to pick her up, as he has already volunteered to do five days ago.
    • Friday, September 4:
      • The new courthouse clock is delivered to Hill Valley by train. [20]
      • Doc tries repairing the DeLorean, and accidentally saves the life of schoolteacher Clara Clayton. It is love at first sight.
    • Saturday, September 5: The Hill Valley Festival. As part of Hill Valley’s anniversary festivities, the new courthouse clock is started at exactly 8:00 p.m. PST. Photographs with the clock are offered to townspeople wishing to pose with the new timepiece. The clock will remain in faithful service to Hill Valley for the next seven decades. Doc and Marty have a photograph taken, posing next to the new courthouse clock (this photo is given to Marty in 1985 by Doc at the spot where the DeLorean was destroyed by a locomotive near Eastwood Ravine). While Doc and Clara dance, Buford Tannen tries to shoot Doc, but Marty interferes and saves him.
    • Sunday, September 6:
      • 7:00 a.m. Marty wakes up. After being confronted by Doc about the dangers of fighting Buford, Marty checks his photograph from 1955, and gets a shock. The future of timeline 8 in which Doc is killed is replaced by one in which Marty, aka "Clint Eastwood", is likely to be killed. Doc and Marty prepare to go back to the future. Doc says goodbye to Clara and tells her the truth, but she doesn't believe him. Both are broken-hearted; she prepares to leave Hill Valley and he goes to a saloon. Buford and his gang rob the Pine City stage.
    • Monday, September 7:
      • 8:00 a.m.Marty has a showdown scheduled with Tannen; Marty and Doc are ready to escape through the back door when Tannen calls Marty "yellow". Marty still decides not to face Tannen, showing an incredible amount of growth from a mere day earlier, and is about to walk away when Tannen's gang gets a hold of Doc and threatens to shoot him.
      • Marty then decides to face Tannen, and survives due to a trick learned from the Clint Eastwood movie A Fistful of Dollars (which was being watched by Biff in 1985A, in timeline 5). Again Marty checks the photo he has brought, and is relieved. The future of timeline 8 in which Marty is killed is replaced by one in which both Doc and Marty survive.
      • Tannen and his gang are arrested for the robbery of the Pine City stage.
      • Meanwhile, Clara Clayton, on a train bound for San Francisco, overhears a passenger talking about the heartsick Doc Brown; her belief restored, she stops the train and jumps off to find Doc. She discovers clues at the blacksmith shop and rides on horseback towards the spur line Doc and Marty are using. She must reach Doc before he vanishes forever.
      • Doc and Marty are using a hijacked train's locomotive to push the DeLorean up to 88 mph toward Shonash Ravine so they may both go back to the future (1985). Marty succeeds in doing so, but Doc, who has gone to Clara's rescue on the accelerating locomotive, and Clara are forced to stay behind. Doc now has the hoverboard and one of the walkie talkies. Since "Clint" was observed stealing the engine, and is presumed to have gone down with it, he enters the town's folklore as the man who beat Mad Dog Tannen, and Shonash Ravine is renamed Eastwood Ravine.
      • 9:00 a.m. Marty departs 1885 and finally returns to 1985.
    • Tuesday, December 15: Doc and Clara are married. [21]
  • 1886
    • Date unknown: Doc and Clara's elder son, Jules Eratosthenes Brown, is born. [22]
  • 1888

1890s

  • 1891
  • 1893
  • 1895
    • Date unknown: Doc is mocked when he tries to file a patent at the patent office.[25]
  • 1897
    • Wednesday, September 1: Pee Wee McFly, participates in baseball's National League pennant race as a pitcher for the Boston Beaneaters. [26]
    • Thursday, September 2: Marty substitutes for Pee Wee McFly in a baseball game and wins a championship that had been lost in the original timeline.

1900s

1900s

1910s

  • 1910
    • Date unknown: Marty's grandfather and Lorraine's father, Sam Baines, is born.
  • 1915
    • Date unknown: Marty's grandmother and Lorraine's mother, Stella Baines, is born.
  • 1917:
    • Friday, April 6: The United States declares war on Germany. Due to hostility against German-Americans during World War I, Doc's father changes his family's name from "Von Braun" to "Brown". [28]
    • Date unknown: Arthur McFly joins the U.S. Army and is shipped over to France, but is not sent into combat. When it is discovered that he is only 16 years old, he is sent home. [29]

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

  • 1950
    • Date unknown: 12-year-old George McFly tries standing up for his friend Billy Stockhausen, but fails to do so.
  • 1952
    • Friday, February 15: Emmett Brown considers wrestling "Mad Maximus" but never shows up for the match. Following a visit by Marty, Jules and Verne, the timeline is altered and Brown acts as a vigilante crime fighter.
  • 1954
  • 1955
    • Date unknown: Old Man Peabody tries to breed pine trees on his farm. He has a twin pine.[35]
    • Saturday, November 5:
      • Marty McFly arrives from the year 1985 and disrupts the space-time continuum.
      • Doc Brown slips off his toilet whilst hanging a clock and has a vision of the flux capacitor.[36]
      • Biff Tannen and his gang pick on George McFly at Lou's Cafe. Biff warns George never to go into Lou's Cafe again. Although Goldie Wilson urges George to stand up for himself, George ignores the advice.
      • Sam Baines accidentally hits Marty with his car. When Marty recovers, he seeks out Doc Brown to help him get back to 1985.
    • Saturday, November 12:
      • Doc and Marty prepare for his return to 1985, unaware that older versions of themselves have arrived from the future, or that a much older Biff has arrived from the 21st Century, or that there are three DeLoreans in Hill Valley that day.
      • Old Biff gives young Biff an almanac and departs that evening for 2015.
      • George and Lorraine kiss for the first time at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance at Hill Valley High School. It is at that moment that Lorraine realizes that she is going to spend the rest of her life with George McFly.
      • Marty retrieves the almanac from young Biff.
      • Old Doc is accidentally sent back to 1885 by a lightning strike.
      • 10:04 p.m.: Lightning strikes the clock tower at precisely 10:04 p.m., damaging and stopping the seven-decade-old timepiece, and sending young Marty McFly to 1985. A slightly older Marty arrives moments later, with a letter for young Doc.
    • Wednesday, November 16: Doc sends Marty to 1885 in a newly repaired DeLorean.
  • 1956
    • Date unknown: Ellen Baines is born to Sam and Stella Baines
    • Date unknown: Lyon Estates, the future home of George and Lorraine McFly and their kids in 1985, is completed.
    • Date unknown: George McFly and Lorraine Baines graduate from Hill Valley High School.

1960s

  • Date unknown: George McFly and Lorraine Baines are married. Earliest possible time for them to move to Lyon Estates.
  • 1962
    • Wednesday, August 1
      • Timeline 1 (Original timeline before time travel)
      • Timeline 2 (After using the temporal field capacitor)
        • Doc receives a message from himself from two months into the future, delivered through time by his prototype temporal field capacitor. The build-up of flux energy created by sending an object so far into the past caused Doc's mansion to be destroyed by the resulting fire. The fireproof garage is the only surviving structure, and Doc moves into it.
      • Timeline 8 (After Marty returns home) and 3-7, except 6 (Biff rewrites 1955)
        • Doc receives a letter from his counterpart in the future, and the garage burns down. However, he now knows that he will successfully invent a time machine capable of transporting living beings, due to sending Marty through time in that machine. He now intends to use the money for multiple future inventions.
    • Date unknown:
      • Doc is awarded insurance money when the cause of the fire is deemed to be inconclusive.
  • 1963
  • 1964
  • 1966
    • Date unknown: Linda McFly is born to George and Lorraine McFly.
    • Date unknown: Studebaker halts all remaining automobile production.[41] The Statler Motors' dealership has switched to selling Toyota cars by then.
  • 1967
    • Date unknown 30-year-old Biff Tannen has an encounter with an alien spaceship.
    • Wednesday, January 18: A Fistful of Dollars, starring Clint Eastwood, is released to US cinemas. [42]
  • 1968

1970s

  • Date unknown: Doc sells off the rest of the land, where his mansion was located before it burned down, to commercial developers. Only his garage remains.[44]
  • 1973
  • 19761977
    • Date unknown: 8-year-old Marty accidentally sets fire to the living room rug. His parents don't go easy on him. [45]

1980s

  • 1980
    • Date unknown: 12-year-old Marty McFly skateboards down the Courthouse steps, receiving a scar on his left knee.
  • 1981
  • 1982
    • Date unknown: Pepsi Free, the drink Marty tries to order in 1955, is introduced.[46]
    • Saturday, October 2: Marty sneaks into Doc Brown's garage in an attempt to get an interocitor tube to replace the one Douglas J. Needles broke. Doc is impressed with Marty's ingenuity in solving the traps Doc set to keep people out of his garage, as well as Marty's honesty in admitting that he sneaked into the garage for the tubes. He hires Marty as his assistant. According to the original Part I script, Doc hired Marty to sweep his garage. Doc gave Marty total access to his record collection, and they became friends.
  • 1983
    • Sunday, May 22: Ronald Reagan announces he will run for a second term in office. Although a newspaper headline, seen in Timeline 2, mentions that Doc Brown is commended and wins an award, it is unknown whether this happened in the original timeline (because in 1985, Dr. Brown is described (by Mr. Strickland) as "a real nutcase").
    • Date unknown: Marty sneaks out of his house at night to meet his friends, and his mother hears the sound of a skateboard and catches him. Marty recalls the incident when he sneaks out again two years later. [47]
  • 1984
    • June: Linda McFly graduates in the Class of '84.
  • 1985
    • Saturday, October 12: Libyan terrorists steal plutonium from the local power plant so Doc can build them a nuclear weapon.[36] It is dismissed by the FBI as a "simple clerical error". [48]
    • Friday, October 25:
      • 8:18 a.m. Openings titles of "Back to the Future." All the clocks are set 25 minutes slow, displayed incorrectly as 7:53 a.m.
      • 8:25 a.m. Doc asks Marty to meet him at Twin Pines Mall at 1:15 a.m. next morning.
      • Marty arrives to school late then fails his audition with his band, The Pinheads, later after school.
      • Marty admires a black Toyota 4x4 on the bed of a truck at the Texaco gas station.
      • A woman asks Marty for a donation to preserve the non-functioning clock tower, handing him a flyer containing specific date and time details about the lightning strike to the clock. Marty puts the flyer in his pocket.
      • Lorraine's brother Joey fails to make parole again.
    • Saturday, October 26:
      • 12:28 a.m. Doc calls Marty to stop by at his garage to pick up his JVC camcorder.
      • 1:16 a.m. Marty arrives at Twin Pines Mall.
      • 1:18 a.m. Doc demonstrates Temporal Experiment #1.
      • 1:20 a.m. Einstein becomes the first time traveler in the world by departing one minute into the future. (This time jump does not create a new timeline; timelines are only created by going back in time. Einstein merely moves 1 minute forward on Timeline 1. The Doc states this is the case with timelines in the blackboard scene in Part II.)
      • Time Circuits BTTF

        The DeLorean's time circuits as they appeared one minute after the first demonstration.

        1:21 a.m. Einstein arrives at one minute into the future.
      • 1:33 a.m. Doctor Emmett Lathrop "Doc" Brown is shot dead by Libyan terrorists.
      • 1:35 a.m. Marty flees from the Libyans in the DeLorean and accidentally departs 1985 for 1955 by accelerating to 88 mph. His arrival there brings Timeline 2 into existence, and Timeline 1 fades from existence.
      • Marty, 8 days older, arrives from 1955 and crashes into the front of the Assembly of Christ He then runs from the town square over to the Lone Pine Mall to witness the departure of his one-week-younger self, and sees the Libyans crash into a photo kiosk. Doc escapes injury and departs later that morning to go to the future.
      • Marty wakes up at 10:28. Later that morning, Doc arrives and takes Marty and Jennifer to the future.
    • Sunday, October 27:
      • After arriving from 2015 to an altered timeline, Marty and Doc travel back to 1955 to right things.
      • Marty, another week older, returns later that morning from 1885 and escapes injury when the time machine is destroyed.
      • Marty picks up Jennifer. While they're stopped at a light, Needles tries to get Marty to race him. Marty declines.
      • Doc and Clara arrive in 1985 and introduce their sons to Marty and Jennifer.
    • October/November: George McFly's first novel, A Match Made in Space, is published.

1990s

  • 1991
    • Doc Brown and his wife Clara settle down in Hill Valley, and enroll their children, Jules (10) and Verne (8), at the local elementary school.
  • 1992
    • The Browns (Doc, Clara, Jules and Verne) see more of the Tannens (Biff and Biff, Jr.)
    • Date unknown: Roberta Needles, older daughter of Douglas Needles, is born.
  • 1994
    • Date unknown: Amy Needles, younger daughter of Douglas, is born.
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
    • Date unknown: Marty McFly Jr. is born to Marty and Jennifer McFly. Marlene McFly, possibly, is born on this date although it is not clear whether she is a twin to Marty Jr.
    • Date unknown: Bottoms Up!, a plastic surgery place, opens in Courthouse Square.

2000s

2000s

2010s

  • 2009 or 2013
  • 2015
    • Doc spends an unknown amount of time in 2015 and later. While he's there, he places Einstein in a suspended animation kennel, outfits the time machine with a Mr. Fusion and a hover conversion, undergoes personal rejuvenation surgery, and learns as much as he can about Marty Jr.'s meeting with Griff on the 21st. Eventually, Doc leaves for 1985 to fetch Marty and Jennifer.
    • Date unknown: Jaws 19 debuts at the theater: this time, it's really really personal.
    • Wednesday, October 21: The Chicago Cubs win baseball's World Series in a 5 game sweep over Miami.
    • Friday, October 23: Queen Diana visits Washington according to the October 22 issue of USA Today.

2070s

2090s

  • 2091
    • December 15: Ziff Tannen tries to sabotage Marta McFly's solar sail ship MSC Jennifer, the sabotage was repaired by Doc and his wife Clara and afterwards Ziff was sent to jail where he shared his cell with his grandfather Griff Tannen.

2580s

  • 2585
  • June 3: The Brown family and Marty travel to 2585 and witness the robot revolution. [49]

Far Future

  • 2,991,299,129,912
  • Date Unknown: The Brown family and Marty accidentally arrive here from 2585 after the time train malfunctions. [50]

See also

References

  1. From the animated episode Roman Holiday
  2. from the animated episode, Put on Your Thinking Caps, Kids! It's Time for Mr. Wisdom!
  3. from the animated episode, A Family Vacation
  4. from the animated episode, Time Waits for No Frog
  5. from the animated episode Witchcraft
  6. from the animated episode Mac the Black
  7. from the animated episode, Go Fly a Kite
  8. from the animated episode, Einstein's Adventure
  9. from the animated episode, Dickens of a Christmas
  10. from the animated episode, Clara's Folks
  11. Back to the Future Part II: The money was visible in Doc's suitcase.
  12. from the animated episode, Brothers
  13. Historical fact. See From the Earth to the Moon for details. The book is mentioned in Back to the Future Part III.
  14. based on an 1885 issue of the Hill Valley Telegraph that commemorates the 20th anniversary of the event
  15. Clara mentions this in conversation with Doc in Back to the Future Part III
  16. Historical fact. See Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea for details. The book is mentioned in Back to the Future Part III.
  17. from the animated episode, Put on Your Thinking Caps, Kids! It's Time for Mr. Wisdom!
  18. Back to the Future Part II: Doc and Marty read the newspaper in 1955.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Back to the Future Part III: Part of Doc's letter.
  20. Back to the Future Part III: The clock was seen in the background at the train station in 1885.
  21. from the animated episode, Solar Sailors; Doc and Clara are celebrating their anniversary on December 15, 1991, and Doc jokes that they've been married almost 106 years.
  22. conjecture from Jules being two years older than Verne, and that he was conceived after his parents' marriage.
  23. from the animated episode, "By Any Other Name"
  24. Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines: Issue 5 - "Clara's Story"
  25. The animated series episode St. Louis Blues. The first issue of the Harvey comic series established that Doc and Clara keep a part time residence in the 19th century.
  26. from the animated episode, Batter Up
  27. Marty mentions this family story to George in 1955 (BTTF novelization, p91, although this is not seen in the film.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Back to the Future Part III: Doc tells Marty about it in 1955.
  29. BTTF novelization, p91
  30. based on a mention in the BTTF novel that in 1985, Doc is 65 years old. However, the animated episode Gone Fishin' says that Doc was born in 1922. Neither date can be inferred from the film trilogy.
  31. Historical fact. See Clint Eastwood for details.
  32. as established in Back to the Future Part II, which recounts Biff's life story and "how a trip to the races on his 21st birthday made him a millionaire overnight," and shows a newspaper dated March 27, 1958
  33. as seen on George's tombstone in 1985A in Back to the Future Part II; names of parents are from the BTTF novel at page 91
  34. from DVD commentary by Bob Gale in Back to the Future
  35. Back to the Future. Doc tells Marty about this in the parking lot of Twin Pine Mall in 1985, and the farm is seen when Marty gets in 1955.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Back to the Future Part I. Doc tells Marty about this in the parking lot of Twin Pine Mall in 1985.
  37. Historical fact. See history of Toyota for details.
  38. Historical fact. See Johnny B. Goode for details.
  39. Back to the Future Part II. Mentioned in the video presentation on the life of Biff in the Biff Tannen museum, in the alternate 1985.
  40. Historical fact. See Tab (soft drink) for details.
  41. Historical fact. See Studebaker's exit from the auto business for details.
  42. Historical fact. See A Fistful of Dollars for details. The film is depicted in Back to the Future Part II and homaged in Back to the Future Part III.
  43. Bob Gale referred to the date in a draft screenplay for Part II, although this did not end up in the film trilogy, the novelizations, or the animated series
  44. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named DocHouse
  45. from Back to the Future
  46. Historical fact. See Caffeine-Free Pepsi for details.
  47. Novelization, p44
  48. Back to the Future. According to a TV news program heard in the background.
  49. As seen in Harvey Comics #5.
  50. As seen in Harvey Comics #6.

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