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Looking for a Few Good Scientists

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Looking for a Few Good Scientists
Looking for a Few Good Scientists
Part of: Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines
Issue number(s): 1
Page count: 7
Writer: Bob Gale, John Barber
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Colorist: Luis Antonio Delgado
Editor: Tom Waltz
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publication date: 2015
Timeline: 1943

Looking for a Few Good Scientists was the second of two stories printed within issue 1 of Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines printed by IDW Publishing in 2015. It was based on the idea that Emmett Brown worked for the Manhattan Project as a young man.

Publisher's Summary

“Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines,” part 1: BttF creator/screenwriter Bob Gale returns with all-new tales from the twisting and turning timeline that made Back to the Future a, well… TIMELESS pop-culture phenomenon! Take a trip back to 1985 and be there when Doc Brown and Marty McFly first meet, and then jump even farther back, to 1945, to witness Doc’s involvement in the super-secret Manhattan Project.

Plot

In 1943, Emmett Brown leaves his teaching duties at the California Institute of Technology by telling his students to work on the Jacobian conjecture, knowing that since he didn't teach a math class, they'd be thoroughly occupied.

He confronts Robert Millikan with the revelation that he is aware that the top scientific minds from the facility are being sent to work on a top secret think tank by to work on a project for the government to benefit the war effort.

Robert tells him that Emmett's name did come up for the project, but he wasn't told about it. He is told that the vetting process requires an interview at his home, and possibly a psychiatric evaluation, and he's afraid that once the interviewers saw Emmett's apartment, he'd be disappointed in the outcome. Emmett tells him that he has a solution, and the interview is scheduled.

At the interview, Lieutenant General Leslie Groves and Vannevar Bush are impressed with how orderly the home is, telling Emmett that his co-workers had described him as more chaotic. He's told that the orderly nature of the apartment speaks to the disciplined mind they are after.

General Groves spots a book on needlepoint, and asks Emmett about it. Emmett explains that he doesn't like to dismiss anything, as anything can lead to a breakthrough, impressing Vannevar Bush.

As the interview is ending, Bush steps on the mail that had been delivered through the mail slot. Upon picking it up, he realizes that the mail is addressed to Mrs. Gomez, Emmett's landlady, and tells Emmett that they will be in touch.

Emmett thinks that he blew the interview, and tries to think of another way to get the position on his way home. Upon arriving at his apartment, surprised that the lights are on, Emmett is greeted by General Groves, Vannevar Bush, and J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Emmett happily shakes Oppenheimer's hand, and expresses confusion, as he thought that he didn't get the job. He is told that they were well aware that he was using his landlady's home for the interview. Using an orderly home instead of simply cleaning his own is the exact kind of unconventional thinking that they are seeking for the position.

Emmett is then offered a job on the Manhattan Project. Emmett goes to his refrigerator and tells them that he has something to mark the occasion. He offers them orange Jello, which is dome shaped and has a mushroom symbolically floating in its center.

Dramatis Personae

Individuals

Locations

Dates

Miscellaneous

  • Jello (First appearance)

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