- "Stepping back several feet, Doc Brown continued the scientific narration. "I will now operate the vehicle with this remote control unit." / He tilted it toward the camera as Marty followed his movements [with the JVC camcorder]. The remote control unit was similar to that used for a radio-controlled toy car. There were buttons labeled "Accelerator" and "Brake," as well as a joystick and an LED digital readout labeled "Miles Per Hour." It was simple-looking but quite sophisticated. Marty had no doubt Doc Brown could maneuver the DeLorean with the device, but at present he had no idea what the end result or product would be. Rather than try to puzzle it out, he decided to simply enjoy the spectacle as cameraman and audience member."
- —From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 48)
Remote control was the operation of an apparatus from a distance using an electrical device, usually handheld.
Emmett Brown used a remote control device — which was similar to that for a radio-controlled car — to operate the DeLorean time machine, with Einstein inside, on the parking lot at Twin Pines Mall during his execution of the world's first temporal displacement on October 26, 1985.
In 1985A, as Biff Tannen and his guests were enjoying the Clint Eastwood movie A Fistful of Dollars, Marty McFly turned the television off with the remote control and then tossed the device into the hot tub.
The scene screens that existed by 2015 were operated by remote control, as shown when Grandma Lorraine used it to change the channel on the still broken scene screen in the McFly residence, and eventually switch the screen off after it filled completely with static.
In 1991, Doc was locked in his lab at the Institute of Future Technology (I.F.T.) by Biff, who then stole one of the new DeLorean time machines and embarked on a joyride through time. Doc used a remote control to send a party of volunteers in the 8-passenger DeLorean to chase Biff and 'bump' him back to the present by getting close enough and reaching 88 m.p.h.
Behind the scenes
- Doc's remote control device does not appear again in the Back to the Future trilogy. However, he does use a futuristic wristwatch-sized remote control in the Back to the Future Part II novelization to fly the DeLorean from its hiding place in 2015 and bring it to the ground, before producing the original remote control unit to maneuver the car in front of him and Marty so they can proceed to follow Unit N11-11, with Jennifer Parker aboard, to the McFly residence in Hilldale.
- The Back to the Future Part II novelization by Craig Shaw Gardner also describes the video telephone at the McFly residence as being operated by remote control, rather than speech recognition as shown on-screen.
- Back to the Future
- Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future Part II novelization
- Back to the Future: The Ride
- Back to the Future: The Animated Series
- Back to the Future: The Game