Remote control

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Doc with his remote control device for the DeLorean time machine.

"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."
—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.

Behind the scenes


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