- "While he [Doc] studied himself [in the mirror, wearing the brain-wave analyzer], wondering whether to continue work for the day, Copernicus started barking. The dog, third in a line of pets named after famous scientists, raced from the kitchen into the living room, arriving there just as the rap [at the door] sounded."
- —From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 114)
Copernicus was Emmett Brown's dog in 1955 named for famed scientist Nicholas Copernicus. Sometime between then and 1985, most likely by 1970, Copernicus passed away and was replaced by Doc's new companion Einstein, continuing with the theme of pets named after famous scientists.
Copernicus appears to be either a mixed-breed or a breed of terrier.
While Copernicus was never referred to by name on-screen in Part I, his name was mentioned in the novelization. It wasn't until Part III that his name was actually spoken and confirmed as being Copernicus.
Behind the scenes
- As with Einstein in Part III, Copernicus was portrayed by a different dog than the one which was used in Part I.
- In the Back to the Future novelization (see Quote above), Copernicus is identified as being the third in a line of Doc's theme of pets named after famous scientists — implying that Doc had two other dogs (the names of which remain unknown) before Copernicus.