World's first temporal displacement

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The DeLorean 'explodes' in front of Doc and Marty.

" Marty took the video camera from its case, set it on the tripod and pointed it at Doc Brown. He raised his hand, then dropped it as he pushed the ON switch. / Rather formally, like the narrator of a documentary film, Brown began to speak. "Good evening," he intoned. "I'm Dr. Emmett Brown. I'm standing here on the parking lot at Twin Pines Mall. It's Saturday morning, October 26, 1985. It's 1:19 A.M. and this is temporal experiment number one." / Glancing down at Einstein, who had jumped out of the step-van and was padding nervously around the base of the DeLorean, Doc added: "Come on, Einstein. Get in, boy." / The dog obediently jumped into the car and sat down regally in the middle of the driver's seat. Doc Brown reached across and buckled him in with the shoulder harness. Then, turning to Marty, the camera and unseen audience, he continued the narration. "
—From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 47)
"When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit."
—Doc Brown to Marty

The world's first temporal displacement occurred in the parking lot of Twin Pines Mall on Saturday, October 26, 1985 at 1:20:00 AM PST by using Emmett Brown's DeLorean time machine. The first time traveler was Doc Brown's dog Einstein, who only experienced an instantaneous trip when in fact that trip had lasted one full minute.

The day before, Doc called Marty McFly at his garage telling him that he had a "major breakthrough". Later that night, Doc made sure that Marty stopped by his garage and picked up the JVC camcorder to document the entire experiment. Before Marty arrived, Doc placed a pellet of plutonium into the fuel chamber of the car and parked it inside his van. Marty arrived at the mall at 1:16 am, technically one minute late, but immediately ran down to the van. When Marty found Einstein sitting in the parking lot, Doc opened the van and rolled out in the DeLorean.

"Good evening. I’m Doctor Emmett Brown and I’m standing here in the parking lot at Twin Pines Mall. It is Saturday morning, October 26, 1985, 1:18 A.M. and this is temporal experiment number one."
—Doc introducing himself on videotape.

Doc demonstrates the accuracy of his clocks.

Doc revealed that the machine was his latest creation but didn't get too much into specifics until after the first test. Doc placed Einstein into the car and showed Marty who was filming that his and the dog's clock were the same time (at that moment 1:19 AM). With a remote control device, Doc operated the car from a distance and sent it to the far end of the parking lot. Doc and Marty ran to a spot where the car would intersect them. He revved it up to 62 m.p.h. with the brakes on and released the brakes. The car accelerated to 70 and 80 m.p.h. By 82 m.p.h. the car began to glow and flash brilliantly. By 85 mph it formed a large white halo in front of it. At precisely 88 m.p.h., at precisely 1:20:00, the car seemingly exploded into dust and fire trails blazed around Doc and Marty at their feet.


Doc and Marty stand in the path of the DeLorean.


Doc reveals that the one-minute trip was a success.

Doc: "What did I tell you!?! Eighty-eight miles per hour!!!"
Marty: "Jesus Christ Doc! You disintegrated Einstein!"
— After the test

Marty looked in shock as the license plate, OUTATIME, spun and landed. Believing that the dog was vaporized, Doc explained to him that Einstein was fine and was the world's first time traveler. Marty then questioned the idea of building a time machine from a DeLorean to which Doc replied that it needed some style and that the stainless steel helped in controlling the flux dispersal of the vehicle. At that moment, exactly 1:21:00, the car reappeared.

It skidded to a halt, looking frozen, and vented out steam from its rear louvers. Doc noticed that the doors were "damn cold" and lifted the driver's side up, revealing that Einstein was indeed okay. The two clocks were exactly one minute in difference as well (1:20 and 1:21 AM) and Einstein's was still ticking. Doc showed Marty the time circuits and explained the power source. Unfortunately, after the insertion of the plutonium, a vehicle in the distance got closer to which Doc realized it was the Libyans that he ripped off.

Later in 1986, after his initial adventures with Doc, Marty dreamed about the test, however it did not occur in the same fashion. Firstly, the DeLorean did not arrive one minute after vanishing. After Marty fetches Doc's notebook to see what went wrong, the sky grows dark and stormy, and Doc begins to erase from existence.[1]



  • If you watch the film very carefully with a stopwatch, to time the time it takes for the world's first temporal displacement to happen (measured by the time between the car's disappearance and reappearance), you will find that the displacement took 1 minute 17 seconds in real time, longer than the minute displacement was supposed to be, which means the movie was slowed down, even though it looked like it wasn't slowed down and the characters were talking at normal speed. One could assume that the temporal re-entry system is not absolutely accurate and has a margin of error of 15-20 seconds, but the two clocks compared by Doc imply that the DeLorean skipped over exactly sixty seconds.

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