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936full-back-to-the-future-part-iii-screenshot

Marty (Michael J Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) standing either side of the new Town Clock

PlotEdit

Stranded in 1955 after a freak burst of lightning, Marty must travel to 1885 to rescue Doc Brown from a premature end. Surviving an Indian attack and unfriendly townsfolk, Marty finds Doc Brown the blacksmith. But with the Doc under the spell of the charming Clara Clayton, it's up to Marty to get them out of the wild west and back to the future. Written by Robert Lynch <docrlynch@yahoo.com>

Errors and ExplanationsEdit

Internet Movie DatabaseEdit

AnachronismsEdit

  • Aircraft contrails visible when the horses are pulling the DeLorean. Possibly thin clouds that look like contrails.

ContinuityEdit

  • The walkie-talkie in Doc's hand appears and disappears throughout the scene where he's climbing on the train to get to the DeLorean. He keeps it in his pocket, and gets it out to talk to Marty.
  • When Doc is about to hug Marty, he places his hand on top of Marty's shoulder, but in the next his hand is on Marty's arm. Doc lowered his hand as the shot changed.

Factual errorsEdit

  • Contrary to Doc Brown's statement, gasoline (and Petroleum) had been around for at least fifteen years prior to 1885. (IMDB) Doc Brown may not have had enough time to convert the petroleum which was in ready supply into an octane that would run the DeLorean, assuming he could get hold of some in the first place!

Incorrectly regarded as goofsEdit

  • The complex logic, and conflicting theories, of time travel have resulted in a great many potential plot holes, especially when the movie is viewed in the context of the whole trilogy. But time travel movies are like that.
  • Theoretically, the only way Marty's great, great grandmother could look like his mother is if Seamus and Maggie are related. However, it may just be coincidence that Maggie and Lorraine look alike, implying that McFly men have always been attracted to women who look like her.
  • At the end of Back to the Future Part II (1989), Marty sets the hover board on the ground while burning the book and doesn't pick it up at any point and doesn't have it in his possession when he gets the 1955 Doc to help him get to 1885, but it is still seen in the car when he goes back to 1885, even though it was apparently left at the sign. Marty does in fact have it in Doc's house at the beginning of the movie, and it's implied that a few hours have passed between films, so Marty would have had time to run to the sign, get the hoverboard back, and bring it to Doc's house.
  • During the film, Doc urges Marty to destroy the time machine once they return to 1985, as time traveling has caused enough trouble for them already (such as almost preventing George and Lorraine from meeting, Biff getting rich with the almanac, and Doc being sent to 1885). By the end, Doc seems to have forgotten this and made a habit of time traveling with his family, however it's established in the first movie that he is prone to changing his mind.
  • For Marty to avoid crashing into a tree that once existed in the past, Doc felt it was safe to send Marty back to 1885 at a drive-in as he says, "this was all wide open space". Some viewers have questioned how Doc could know this information. However, it is entirely possible that he looked it up at the library before leaving (also, he could have gone back before or while repairing the DeLorean, which would take at least a couple of days anyway, even assuming he already had everything he needed, which is unlikely) or that he, or a friend of his, had a map of the general Hill Valley area as it was in late 1885 in his possession.
  • In Back to the Future Part II (1989), it is mentioned that Marty's life was partially ruined by a car accident in which he raced his rival, Needles, and crashed into a Rolls Royce, whose driver sued Marty in court and therefore ruined his life. Back to the Future Part III (1990), however, depicts the (avoided) accident in a completely different light: during the race, the Rolls Royce speeds through a STOP sign onto the main road, thus getting in Marty's way and causing the crash. While the courts would normally find someone who drove through a stop sign to be at fault, it can be assumed that the driver of a Rolls Royce is wealthy (certainly more so than Marty) and would be able to afford lawyers who could influence the court in their favor.
  • Marty is heard cocking the pistol. The Colt Peacemaker is a single action pistol, which means the hammer must be cocked back before each shot. Double action revolvers (which had not been invented in 1885) can be fired by only pulling the trigger, or first cocking the hammer back.
  • When Marty and Jennifer are back at the train tracks, prior to Doc and Clara arriving in the time locomotive, the railroad crossing gates go down. There is no logical reason for them to do this, since the locomotive is not present in 1985 when they go down, and there was nothing to trigger them. (IMDB) It is likely that there is some sort of pre-arrival vibraton or tremor that would've triggered the railroad gate.

Plot holesEdit

  • When Marty and Doc look at the Delorean's damage. Doc notes that the car needs parts and says, Where are we going to find gas/parts for the Delorean at this time? (IMDB) If they went back to the cave where Doc put the Delorean for Marty to find, he could have gotten the parts from there.

Movie MistakesEdit

ContinuityEdit

  • At the end, when the train destroys the time machine, right at the moment when it hits (freeze-frame recommended), you can see a small explosion, which was used to trigger the destruction of the time machine.Submitted by csteel310 The jolt could have severe enough to cause part of the time travel system to blow.
  • When Clara first sees the train and starts after it on horseback, it is on her right side. She is at the top of a hill and starts down after the train. In the next shot shown from the front of the train you see the horse appear so the train is on Clara's left. She rode round the back of the train in order to reach the ladder at the back.

CorrectionsEdit

  • In the scene were Doc is at the saloon, after Clara doesn't believe him, he orders a drink. The bartender then says "I don't know about that, remember what happened on the Fourth of July?" Doc arrived in 1885 on September 1st. He wasn't there on the Fourth of July. Doc got zapped back to Jan 1st, 1885. In his letter at the beginning of BTTF 3 he mentions that he had been living for 8 months in 1885. So it is possible that he was there on the Fourth of July.
  • Doc Brown can build a time machine but is unable to figure out how to build a still to extract pure ethanol from Whisky in order to use as fuel for the DeLorean. He stated to Clara that he is a "student of all science" so this should include chemistry. Chemists know how to build a still. Doc, however, tried to fuel the car with strong Whisky without distilling it. He needed a quick solution and thought the whiskey would work. Apparently his expertise does not include the workings of internal combustion engines or he never would have tried it. Pure ethanol would also probably not have worked in the DeLorean. Corrected by BocaDavie
  • In 1885 Marty meets his great-great-grandparents. His great-great-grandfather looks like him so that we can be sure of their relation. BUT, his great-great-grandmother looks like his own mother. This makes no sense as in this way his parents are related by blood due to the resemblance of their ancestors. Even if a blood relationship is implied, it still isn't close enough to be an issue. My great-great-grandfather and my wife's great-great-great-grandfather were the same person. Perhaps it's merely an implication that the McFlys and the Baines are two families destined to be together. Or perhaps she simply happens to look like Marty's mother and has no genetic relationship to her whatsoever.Corrected by Phixius
  • There really should have been no reason for Marty to risk going back to 1885 to rescue Doc. Obviously, 1985 Doc being killed by Tannen, did not negate his eventual existence (as evidenced by 1955 Doc still existing). It's understandable Marty would want to prevent his friend being murdered, but when they learned of this fact in 1955, this event had already happened 70 years ago. 1955 Doc surely would have realized the pointlessness of Marty going to rescue his future self in the past when 1955 Doc would eventually become 1985 Doc again through the natural course of time. In light of this, surely 1955 Doc would have explained to Marty there was no reason to go back and possible cause more damage to the Space-Time Continuum. You're missing the point; if Doc is killed in 1885, there will be a paradox. 1955 Doc wouldn't know that he went back to 1885 yet, so wouldn't know he could be killed, so wouldn't think to warn Marty in 1985. Besides, Seamus would have been killed because of Doc's influence in 1855, so Marty never would have existed either. There were plenty of valid reasons to go back to 1885. Corrected by rswarrior
  • When Doc picks out clothes for Marty to wear to the old west, Marty asks if they are authentic, so Doc says "sure, haven't you ever seen a western?" Considering Doc is supposedly a genius and the old west is his favorite historical era (he himself said it was his favorite era in part 2) he should know that Hollywood's version of old west clothing and the reality of it are two different things. Doc should know better than to base his knowledge on Hollywood films. This is 50's Doc Brown talking, not 80's Doc Brown. It is 80's Doc Brown who tells Marty that the "Old West" is his favorite era. It's entirely possible that 50's Doc Brown hadn't yet done the research 80's Doc Brown had no doubt made. Corrected by Phixius
  • Doc begins telling Marty about his accident with Rolls-Royce, before stopping himself and telling Marty it's better that he doesn't know. How exactly did Doc find out about the Rolls-Royce incident in the first place? When Doc was in the year 2015, he didn't actually talk to Marty or any of his family or Needles, so who told him about the Rolls-Royce incident? At that point, it had happened 30 years prior, so it's doubtful that a minor car crash from 1985 would still be the talk of the town in 2015. A Rolls Royce is hardly a minor car to have an accident with. They are such a rare car, one being in an accident in Hill Valley would be unusual enough to be news. Corrected by rswarrior
  • When Seamus McFly goes to comfort his crying baby son William, we can see that he is a very affectionate father. This was practically unheard of in the 19th century. Children were routinely beaten for even the smallest infractions at the time, it was the norm. Since William was only an infant, I doubt he would be beaten, but his father would not be so kind towards him either. His attitude would be more like "shut up kid, what are you crying about now?". The whole concept of being affectionate towards one's children is more of a 20th century idea. And yet people are different, no matter the age or cultural norms. Some people are just nicer than others, it has nothing to do with some preconceived notion of how societal norms were for any given time. When my father was a child, it was acceptable to give a wife a backhand if she "got out of line", but he never did. Corrected by rswarrior
  • Why would Doc label the toy car "time machine" when they both knew what it was? Having the car marked like that would only make sense for Clara to see it when she arrives at the livery so she would assume that Doc was telling the truth when he told her he was from the future. Since Marty and Doc wanted to minimize their true identities and their association with the future, they should have covered the train set up, just in case they failed in their attempt and/or had to come back. This is a question, not a mistake. We already know from the first film that Doc is meticulous (apologizing for the model not being to scale). Corrected by JC Fernandez
  • What are Great Plains Indians doing in California? The cavalry are chasing them so they may be on the run. The U.S. army persued some Native groups deep into Mexico, so it's hardly unlikely for them to have fled this far. Corrected by Josman
  • When Doc and Marty locate the time machine in the mine/cave in 1955, the door/entrance to the mine cave is too small to have been used in 1885 to get the time machine into the mine cave. Others have said that Doc had the intelligence and time to disassemble the car/time machine, carry the parts in and re-assemble it inside the mine/cave. The problem with this is that while many parts (engine, doors etc.) could be disassembled, the body and frame can only be disassembled so much, they would still be too large to get through the door. Doc would have had to cut them up, carry them in, and then weld them back together. There were no signs of a welding process (weld bead) on the roof, which is part of the one-piece body. Since the body is stainless steel, the welds could not be sanded down and painted over, and there is no paint. We only see ONE entrance to the mine. There could have been several more that were big enough to fit the DeLorean. Also, there most certainly would have been many large entrances back in 1885, when the mine would have actually been in use. Corrected by JAGwire
  • In the letter the Doc sends to Marty in 1955 telling him where to find the time machine and telling him not to come back to 1885 to rescue him, he says he has met a wonderful woman and is thinking of settling down with her. When Marty goes back to 1885 the day after the letter was sent, the Doc has not met Clara yet and does not appear to have any other female attachments. Doc does talk about settling down in the era, but makes no mention of meeting a woman in his letter. Corrected by JC Fernandez
  • Doc is always banging on about making as little impact as possible in his new life as an inhabitant of 1885, yet the method of exit he chooses will change hundreds of lives and cause huge disruptions to all sorts of timelines. The train they destroy would not have been easy to replace, and would have been used by hundreds, maybe thousands of travelers to get to places they are now not going to get to, to meet people they are now not going to meet, to start family lines that now don't exist, and so on on so on. Now that Buford is no longer a threat, a far better alternative would be for Marty and Doc to leave town and live quiet, anonymous lives somewhere isolated - something Doc has already thought of and a far better idea than their returning to the future in such a damaging manner. This is the final step in Doc's character development throughout the series. Initially, he is very concerned about the effects of altering the past, but he begins to ease up on these beliefs as the series progresses [hence his speech to Jennifer about her future not being written yet]. He has come to understand that the future will write itself and that any minor meddling by himself and Marty will not have the disastrous results he initially believed. This is why he wasn't concerned about building ANOTHER time machine in the 1800s.
  • At the onset of the film, Doc and Marty discover Doc's grave from 1885 with the dedication by Clara Clayton on it. Now remember, this was before Marty had gone back to 1885 to meet Doc and further influence the happenings in that year, which included their chance meeting with Clara when she almost died. Even without Marty's influence in 1885, history of the film series up to that point said Clara went over the cliff and died. So therefore, it is inconceiveable that Clara could have lived to even meet Doc to put the dedication on his grave, as he died a few days after she would have. You're forgetting that the mayor reminds Doc that he had volunteered at the town hall (before Marty's arrival) to meet the new schoolteacher at the station. So without Marty's intervention, Doc would have met her there and she wouldn't have died in the ravine. But since he *didn't* meet her at the station because of what Marty told him, history played out as originally fated and she lost control of the spooked horses. Corrected by JC Fernandez
  • At the beginning, after Doc sent Marty back to the future, you can see Marty hiding behind the cars before he runs out. Of course he was hiding behind the cars. He had to prevent his past self from seeing him. He then comes out when he's sure that the past self has gone.
  • In the opening scene when Doc wakes up he turns on the TV to hear "Hey kids, what time is it? It's Howdy Dowdy time." Doc, on the phone, says the time is 7 o'clock AM. Any smart baby boomer knows that Howdy Dowdy aired at 5:30 PM EST. Look at the mass of electronics on top of the television. It's likely that Doc has constructed a recording device and is using a recording of Howdy Dowdy as an alarm clock (remember his facination with the modern video camera in Part 1). We also know from the beginning of Part 1 that Doc has an obsession with setting alarm clocks. Corrected by BocaDavie
  • The gravestone as seen by Marty and Doc in 1955 is in the same mint condition as when we later see it being made in 1885. Given that it has remained outside for 80 years, shouldn't it be more weather beaten or damaged? Not really; I've visited dozens of graveyards and seen thousands of tombstones. Solid granite tombstones hold up very well in dry areas, like the setting of the graveyard in the movie. Tombstones in climates that have a regular change of seasons have more weathering damage. Corrected by BocaDavie
  • When Marty suggests taking Clara back to 1985 with them, Doc refuses, saying that it would disrupt the spacetime continuum. Since she was supposed to die in 1885, she's not even supposed to be there. Taking her back to the future would fix the problem, not make it worse. She was supposed to die, period. Taking her to the "present" would disrupt the space time contimuum for the "future". She'd affect the world of 1985 in ways it wasn't meant to be affected thereby altering the timeline. Since she didn't die, the most logical "place" for her is her own time. Corrected by Phixius
  • When the Doc enters the destination time into the time circuits when he is sending Marty to 1885 from 1955, the time/date etc. go in as he's typing it. However, in the previous films and later in the 3rd film, the enter button must be pressed before anything appears for the destination time. Yes but Doc had recently had to rennovate the car after it had been abandoned for seventy years. This could likely have included repairing the electrics. One result of this could quite plausibly be the change you mentioned.
  • When Marty and Doc first discover the gravestone in 1955, watch closely as Marty puts his hand on it. It wobbles slightly, revealing that it's a prop made of lighter material as opposed to actual stone. Old gravestones may wobble. Corrected by Phixius
  • Throughout the films, the time jump occurs at the end of the flaming skid marks. But, when Marty crosses the bridge near the end, the flames go right across the incomplete section even though the DeLorian has already gone at the start of them. This is just wrong. For a start, the very first time jump we see in the first film ends up with Marty and the Doc slap bang in the middle of them. If the car disappeared at the very end of them, they'd have been run over. See: http://www.hhcc.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/04/Back_to_the_Future.jpg. Corrected by Gary O'Reilly
  • Once Bueford went to jail, there was no hurry to get back to the future; as they did not have to leave before one of them got shot. Bearing that in mind, why did they chase after the 8 o'clock train? They didn't have much time to do that, which made it extremely difficult. They could've easily just used a train on a later date, one with plenty of time to plan out the experiment. Just because the known danger has passed certainly does not mean that all danger has. That uncertainty would be more frightening to me than knowing the exact moment of my death. They only knew that Doc wasn't going to die until such and such date. Now that they've changed that, who knows what could happen. Rattlesnake, stray bullet, etc. It's best to get back as quickly as possible. Corrected by Phixius
  • In the scene when Doc enters the saloon after having his heart broken by Clara, he is approached by a barbed-wire salesman. It appears that the salesman is wearing hearing aids. Obviously impossible for that time period. There is nothing like a hearing aid visible in his ear.
  • When Marty is sent to 1885, he arrives at September 2nd, 1885. Then, Doc has to meet Clara at the station the next day, September 3rd. But when Doc and Marty are figuring out a way to reach 88 miles an hour with the DeLorean, the calendar shows "September 4th" and they still haven't met Clara. Marty arrived on September 2nd, but he didn't meet Doc until the 3rd (he spent the night at the Mcflys' house). That means the mayor came by to see Doc on the 3rd about meeting Clara on the 4th, which is the day Doc saves/meets Clara.
  • Back in 1985, Marty dives out of the DeLorean seconds before a train hits it. He lands on his front, then turns over to see the smash. In the next shot he is crawling on his front. Marty sits up to see the crash. So then he would be able to lean forward from a sitting position and put his legs behind him to crawl on his front.
  • When Clara and Doc are hanging off the train barely, Marty lets the hoverboard go so Doc can save himself and Clara, which he does. When he pulls away from the train, the camera is shooting from Marty's P.O.V. and it shows Doc pulling ahead of the train and past the Delorean. He would slow down if anything, not speed up, especially holding Clara. There is no way to know how a hoverboard from the future is supposed to perform when accelerated to 80+ mph from a moving object, as it's limitations and/or functions are never revealed to the viewer. Corrected by Jazetopher
  • When The car and train go past the windmill, Marty yells to Doc they are going over 60 and he'll never make it back in time. But about a minute later Marty looks at the speedometer and it just then passed 60. *Once the train reached it's top speed, it was up to the "logs" to make it go faster. This was not done by a steady acceleration, but rather a burst that increased the DeLorean and the train's speed, which remained at that speed until the next log. If you will notice, after the log blows that accelerates them to just over 60 mph, the car remains at that speed until the last log blows, so the speedometer in the shot you referenced should still be reading just over 60mph even a minute after Marty tells Doc they just passed 60mph. Not a mistake. Corrected by Jazetopher
  • When Doc and Marty are in the old mine looking for the Time Machine they bust open the sealed entry and find it. The entry is too small to get the Time Machine out. Even if we assume that they made the entry larger, how did the 1885 version of Doc get the Time Machine into the room through the smaller entry back in 1885? In Doc's letter to Marty he said he had been living happily there for several months, which is plenty of time for a man of the Doc's abilities to strip the car down and rebuild it in the mine shaft. Corrected by Mad Ade

When Jules, Marty's son, comes out of the train at the end, look at his expression. He looks like he is about to burst out laughing. First of all, he's Doc's son, not Marty's. And second, there is no reason why the kid should not be laughing. Maybe he is excited about travelling through time, maybe he finds the 1980's surroundings funny, or maybe his brother had just told him a joke. There are a thousand possible explanations to this. Corrected by Twotall Doc wrote the letter (which was read by himself at the start of the movie) and it mentioned the name Clara. Marty went back to 2nd Sept 1885, and met Clara by the cliffs later on. But that letter was written 1st September 1885, before Marty arrived. How is this possible? The letter never mentioned Clara. They didn't find out about her until they saw the gravestone. Corrected by Xofer

  • When the DeLorean is destroyed by the train at the end, why does the train smash through it, instead of just pushing it back down the tracks? Even if Marty had put on a parking brake (which we don't see him doing) it doesn't seem like it would be strong enough to withstand the force of the train. Even cars that are sitting perpendicularly on railroad tracks get pushed along by fast-moving trains, so why not a car that's specially designed to move on the tracks? There's no telling what structural changes Doc had to make to turn the car into a time machine. Doc even says in Part II that Biff's car would "tear through [the DeLorean] like tinfoil." If a Ford would do that, I think the train's damage was about right. Corrected by Phixius
  • How come the Native Americans aren't surprised at all when a racing Delorian appears from thin air in front of them, in dazzling futuristic lights? Who's to say they weren't? Anyway, these appear to be warriors, who would likely consider it dishonerable to show fear of the unknown. Corrected by Phixius
  • When Doc and Marty are in the blacksmith shop, Doc reads the picture tombstone: Shot in the BACK for a matter of $80. Even Buford emphasises this in the previous scene; "one day you gonna get a bullet in your back". However, in the festival scene when Buford is about to shoot Doc, Doc is facing FORWARD. If Marty had not been there to stop the bullet with the frisbee, Doc would have been shot in the chest, not the back. You're not thinking fourth dimensionally. If Marty had not gone back in time, he and Doc wouldn't have saved Clara. If Clara hadn't been at the dance, Doc may well have not been at the dance. Biff would then have shot him somewhere else and in the back. Marty being there messes up the whole time continuum. Corrected by Zwn Annwn
  • In the second film, we learn that Marty's future was drastically altered by a car accident with a Rolls Royce, the driver of which apparently suing Marty for damages. When we see the accident, Marty was meant to be racing down a highway, with the Rolls failing to give way coming out of a side street. This means that it was actually the Rolls Royce's fault, and the driver can't have sued Marty. (He would still have broken his hand, but his financial situation would have been much better off in the future). Marty's taking part in an illegal street race - had he ultimately participated he'd have been traveling considerably above the speed limit and without anything resembling due care and attention. As such, some if not all of the blame would be attached to him, leaving him completely open to being sued. Corrected by Tailkinker
  • A truck is visible in the background when Doc and Marty are trying to jump on the caboose. There isn't a truck in the background. Upon closer examination, it appears that it is merely the visible tip of a nearby mountaintop. Corrected by moviemogul
  • At the beginning of the movie in 1955, Marty has Einstein with him and left him with Doc of 1955. At the end of the movie Doc from 1855 went back to 1985 to see Marty and said he had to come back for Einstein, but wasn't Einstein with the Doc of 1955. So how did Doc get him back, is there some kind of explanation? Marty never has Einstein with him. The dog in 1955 was named Copernicus. Einstein had first been in 1985 (first movie), then travelled into the future with Doc, where he was cryogenically frozen in a kennel while Doc and Marty tried to straighten things out (second movie). Doc was then sent to 1855, made a new steam-powered time machine and went to the 21st century to "come back for Einstein", before dropping in on Marty in 1985 and say goodbye. Corrected by Twotall
  • At the very end of the movie when Marty and Jennifer are at the wreck on the train tracks, the thing starts dinging and the arms lower, indicating that a train is coming. But if Doc is coming from somewhere else in time, then it wouldn't say a train was coming, and one dosn't come later. He can travel through time, I don't think it would be so hard to make a train signal activate.] Corrected by shortdanzr
  • As the train approaches the DeLorean there is no wooden scaffold to hold the rubber tyres acting as a buffer, yet in the next shot a few seconds later, there is a wooden scaffold on the cow catcher. The next shot is after a cut, in which time Doc could have mounted the (obviously home-made) scaffold on the cow catcher. Corrected by Twotall
  • The arrow stuck in the side of the DeLorean is perpendicular to the car, but that side wasn't facing the Indians during the chase so they couldn't have hit it. There are several times during the chase where you see the Indians ride up on both sides of the DeLorean, including the driver's side. The mistakes, as noted elsewhere, is that the car after all these shots jumps to a point in front of the Indians, and that the arrow appears out of nowhere, but yes, there are occasionally Indians who pass the car on the driver's side. Corrected by Twotall
  • After the DeLorean is destroyed by the train, Marty goes to get his truck, picks up Jennifer, almost races with Needles, and then finally returns to the scene of the accident. Isn't it odd that a car was hit by a train, yet there are no emergency vehicles anywhere around, or that the train didn't stop afterward? There are two reasons why there are no emergency vehicles - one, the train driver wouldn't have noticed the car (trains are usually too fast to notice), or the train driver assumed that Marty (as he escaped) would report the accident. As for the train stopping, it was probably going too fast to stop quickly (more than likely it would have stopped much further down the track if it did). Corrected by Andy Benham
  • When Doc is telling Clara he is leaving and will not see her again, and he tells her he is leaving in a time machine. Clara tells Doc that she also read the Time Machine and is a fan of Jules Verne, but the Time Machine was written by H. G. Wells. Clara says: "I understand that because you know I'm partial to the writings of Jules Verne you concocted those mendacities in order to take advantage of me." At no point did Clara actually SAY that Jules Verne wrote The Time Machine. She does not mention The Time Machine at all, nor would she, as it was not first published until 1895, 10 years after the events of BTTF III. Corrected by K.C. Sierra
  • Given that Doc is so concerned about influencing future events, why does he set up shop right in the middle of town (creating a lot of loud and noisy inventions) and attend town meetings, and volunteer to pick Clara up at the train station? He should be a hermit, living as far away from people and civilization as possible. It seems like Doc doesn't really care about time travel anymore, and that in the old west he decided to start a new life. It goes along with Doc saying "Well, I figured 'what the hell'" in the first movie in response to Marty asking him about not influencing future events. To him at this point, it doesn't really matter to him. Corrected by csteel310
  • When the 1955 Doc Brown and Marty went to retrieve the DeLorean from the cave, the passage between the room containing the car and the rest of the mine was rather narrow, and to remove the support beam on either side of the opening to widen the opening is to risk a cave in. How did the car get in there or out? Piece by piece? We saw them dig out a hole into the room with the DeLorean and stopped when they could get a good look. It is entirely possible that they made a bigger hole off camera when it was not necessary to show it and brought the car out then.
  • In the final scene when Clara hands Doc the framed photo it is completely wrapped in brown paper. A moment later, when Doc hands the gift to Marty the piece which supports the framed picture (allowing it to stand on a table) is visible, even before Marty unwraps the package. That's the back of the original photo of Doc standing in front of the clock tower that Marty just picked up from the wreck of the Delorean.

When the locomotive crashes from the bridge there is a huge explosion (may have been added digitally in a later version). However, there are no explosives in a steam-engine, only water and wood. High pressure within the boiler causes the large explosion of the locomotive, like Doc previously said about the whole boiler going to explode after hitting temperature of 200 degrees.

  • When the DeLorean travels forward through time at the beginning of the first movie, the car gets covered in ice. During all other subsequent time travel, this does not happen. Actually, it does. It looks like steam coming off the car.
  • There are two Time Machines in the Old West (1885). One is with Marty and the Doc. The other is in the mine where Doc put it. It has to be there because if it's not, Marty and the 1955 Doc could've never got it, repaired it, and sent Marty to 1885 to save the Doc of 1985. 1985 Doc and Marty could've saved themselves a LOT of trouble by going to the Time Machine in the mine (in 1885) and transporting the gas from it into the other Time Machine (and, of course, repair the fuel line). [This has already been corrected. The Time Machine in the mine will have had all its fluids (fuel, brake fluid, etc.) removed as it is placed in long term storage. Furthermore, if they go messing around with the Time Machine, which Marty will then use to return to 1885, they could create a paradox by doing irreparable damage to it. It's far too big a risk to take, especially with Doc being as cautious as he is.]
  • Isn't it strange that Doc didn't destroy all his stuff in the blacksmith's workshop before going back to the future? Clara goes back to the workshop and finds the model of the railroad and the Delorean, clearly labeled "time machine." [It's a small wooden model of a strange horseless wagon that says it has "magical" properties. Who would believe it was anything but a toy, or some crazy old man's imagination running wild?] Corrected by Twotall
  • This would only be noticeable to the true movie geek, but when Doc and Marty are looking at the map to plan their trip back to 1985, Clara is standing in the background waiting for Doc to pick her up as he promised he would do. Since he doesn't show, she apparently rents a wagon herself and. . . well, the rest is history. [Clara's presence in the scene is (a) blatantly obvious and (b) the whole point of the scene. Hardly something only for true geeks.] Corrected by Tailkinker
  • A device created by Doc makes a hen lay an egg. The egg breaks and falls in a salad dish then the white and yolk of the egg fall in the frying pan. But where are the shells of the eggs? [You can see the salad bowl has two holes in it, a bigger one at the end where the egg falls in, and a smaller one at the opposite side. The egg falls through the big slot and breaks. The bowl is tipped and the egg slides out the smaller hole. The shell is too big to follow and thus stays in the bottom compartment.]
  • Regardless of whether or not Doc is surprised to see Marty in 1885 (and there's nothing to indicate that he is), he should not be surprised to see his tombstone in the picture. He learned of his own death in 1955. [No he didn't. Doc found the tombstone because of Marty's time-travelling, which means the original Doc has no knowledge of it because time-travellers' memories are unaffected by changes in the timeline. This is consistent throughout the franchise.]
  • When Marty leaves for the future at the beginning of Part II, Biff is in his red tracksuit about to wash their cars and Marty's black truck is in the garage. Then in Parts II and III, Marty and Doc make plenty of changes in the past and Doc staying in 1885 would greatly change things on Marty's return to 1985. But when Marty's returns to 1985 at the end of Part III, Biff is still in his red tracksuit about to wash the cars and the same black truck is still in the garage. [But bear in mind that Doc left 1985 at the same point as Marty, so any effect he's had on history up to that point will remain, despite eventually going back to 1885. The ravine name changes, but nothing else world-altering happened.]
  • Why didn't Doc Brown think of getting the gasoline he needed from the DeLorean he had hidden in the mine? [He said in the letter that he sent to Marty that he took it out. He could have used it for experiments or just thrown it out.]

When Doc puts a buffer on the train, it has tires in it. No-one had cars so where would he get the tires from? [They are the tyres from the Delorean.] Corrected by Craig Bryant

  • The main plot device is the lack of petrol. The Doc has an ice generating machine and lamp oil. The ice-generating machine is steam driven and works at ambient temperature. Therefore it is fair to assume that it uses pressure transformation to achieve freezing. It should be fairly simple to rebuild the compression equipment from the icebox into a small scale cracking unit. The required technology is similar. Cracking is the process of breaking down heavy oils like lamp to light ones like petrol. At this point in the film they have several days which should be plenty of time to do this. This would be a much safer course of action. [It take a considerable amount of pressure and heat to perform cracking, over 9000kpa and 2000 degrees Centigrade, and even after that the product has to be filtered to remove any remaining inpurities. Also they had no technology to test the "petrol" to see if it was the right compound to be used as fuel for a car.]
  • If the 1955 Doc saw his tomb and sent Marty to 1885 he shouldn't be surprised to see him in 1885, since the Doc that's in 1885 is the same one who sent him there in 55, and hence has already seen his tomb. Some people argue it's not the same Doc, but time travelling doesn't magically create a new human being! The 1955 Doc sends Marty back to 1885, ages 30 years, invents a time machine, travels around, and ends up in 1885. 30 years may dull the memory a bit, but I think you'd remember sending someone into the past to rescue yourself... Actually, the Doc that is in 1885 is the Doc from 1985. The letter that Marty receives in 1955 is from the Doc who was from 1985 not 1955. Therefore, when Marty goes back to rescue Doc, he's actually rescueing the Doc from 1985. The 1955 Doc saw his tomb but when Marty goes back, the Doc really isn't suprised to see Marty. All he said was that "he gave him specific instructions not to come for him" and what was it. He also said that "it was good to see him", not "what are you doing here" I think he knew Marty would come for him.
  • The fuel problem for the DeLorean is a non-issue. Internal combustion engines can and do run on alcohol, and there was plenty of alcohol available in the Old West. The problem wasn't the fuel; it was the damage done to the car from their attempt to use alcohol as fuel. As you know, they tried using alcohol (some booze of some kind), and it caused an explosion that Doc said would take a month to fix. Since the photo of the headstone said Doc was going to be shot on Monday, they didn't have time to fix it. Perhaps if they would have used the right kind of alcohol, the explosion wouldn't have happened... Corrected by Matty Blast
  • In the last scene in 1885 where Marty, Doc, and Clara are on the train racing toward the bridge, Marty keeps yelling at Doc on his walkie talkie to tell him the gauge readings. But after Doc sees Clara on the train, he tries to rescue her and Doc is no longer holding his walkie-talkie. Doc is holding on to the train with one hand while reaching for Clara with the other. Doc's walkie-talkie is no longer anywhere in sight. Marty sees all this but he nevertheless keeps yelling into his walkie-talkie right to the end as if that is how Doc could hear him. Marty does this even when he is facing forward all by himself in the DeLorean. Who is Marty talking to on the radio? It can't be Doc. Would it not be possible for Doc to have put his radio in his pocket?
  • When Marty asks the Doc if they can take Clara with them to the future, the Doc says no, because you mustn't tamper with the time continuum for your own benefits. However, in the second film, he does change the continuum for Marty and Jennifer's benefits, by going with Marty and Jennifer to change the future, so their son wouldn't go to jail. The reason that he says that the space/time continuum shouldn't be tampered with is because of the repurcussions of what he did in BTTF II. He is learning from his mistakes, and even says so later on in BTTF III.
  • During the final train sequence, how does that gauge in the Delorean measure the pressure inside the train, when nothing is physically attached between it and the Delorean to measure that? It could be more like a watch, telling the time needed for the 3 things to blow up. Doc could have measured that time.
  • Doc's tombstone was placed by his "beloved Clara". However, that was discovered (and carved) before Marty went back and changed the past by him and Doc rescuing Clara. So how did Doc meet Clara without Marty being there, given that the ravine was already called Clayton ravine, meaning that by definition she must have fallen in? Bit of a paradox, methinks. Even assuming he met her at the station, then after that her carriage fell into the ravine, the timings just don't work at all - she couldn't have fallen for him in minutes, and/or couldn't have had her name on the gravestone given that she fell in the ravine before Doc was shot. There are 3 different timelines: 1) Doc never goes in 1885, Clara hires a carriage, she falls into the ravine and it's named after her. 2)Doc goes to 1885, he is sent to the station to pick up Clara and they fall in love (notice that the ravine could have another name in this timeline, we know the "Clayton" name by Marty when he is already in 1885). 3)Doc does go to 1885 and is asked to pick up Clara, but he forgets about it trying to find a way back to 1985; Clara hires a carriage and is about to fall into the ravine, but she is saved by Doc and Marty, Doc falls in love, etc... Notice the "Eastwood ravine" sign in 1985.
  • In the scene where Doc explains to Marty the idea of pushing the DeLorean across the bridge, Marty points out that the bridge is not completed yet (in 1885). Doc says that Marty is just not thinking 4th dimensionally, and once they return to 1985, the bridge is complete, safe and still in use. Unfortunately, the whole idea of returning to the exact same point in space, but a different time, is fundamentally flawed. If the DeLorean was to return to the same point in SPACE, only 100 years later, it would have to account not only for the completion of the bridge, but to all of the other changes to the physical environment. For example, in 100 years, the North American continent would have moved because of continental drift, the Earth would have rotated on its axis, so that point in space would no longer be Hill Vally, CA; the whole planet is revolving around the sun, therefore, the planet Earth wouldn't be in that exact point in SPACE, the sun is revolving around the galaxy, the galaxy moves through the universe, and on and on. Anyway, the DeLorean couldn't have shown up on the completed bridge 100 years later because Earth is moving through space in several different ways. This entire arguement assumes that the time machine does not maintain or compensate for momentum. Since every time they travel through time they end up in the same location we can assume Doc designed the machine to compensate for plate tectonics. planetary orbit, and galactic drift.
  • When the 1955 Doc sends Marty back to 1885 he points to a cave where to hide the DeLorian left of the track that Marty takes (directly towards that cinema screen). In 1885 then, Marty takes a U-Turn to flee from the Native Americans. Assuming a 180 degree turn, the cave to hide the car must be on the right hand side. However, the cave appears directly in front of him. It is very possible (being way back in the 1800's) that it was a cave-filled area at the time and there was a cave where the Doc pointed out in addition to the one Marty hid the Delorean in. It is also possible, since the Doc hadn't been to the old west yet, that his calculations of where the cave actually was were slightly off.
  • In 1885 Marty uses the alias "Clint Eastwood." But at the end when Tannen threatens to shoot Doc if Marty doesn't come out to fight, Doc calls Marty by his real name, and no one seems to notice. They'd have guessed it's some sort of nickname - like "Doc" instead of "Emmett L. Brown".
  • Marty smashes his head on the fence not long after he arrives in 1885 at 8:00 am. When he wakes up Maggie tells him he's been asleep for nearly 6 hours, so it could only be about 2pm at the latest, yet it is dark outside and they eat dinner soon after that. [It is possible that Maggie and her family did not have an accurate timepiece and thus could only guess at how long Marty was out cold. Also, farm families, true then as it often is now, wake at or before dawn, so 8 a.m. wouldn't seem as early in the morning as it would to us, which could also make it difficult for her to judge the time.]
  • Just before the train hits the inside of the ravine, the train explodes. It shouldn't just explode in midair. Remember when Doc says when the boiler reaches 2000 degrees the whole thing will blow? That's what it was doing. Corrected by MAC

Doc said to Marty, after they rescued Clara 'I wish I had never invented this infernal machine, it causes nothing but disaster' and he never wanted to change the future (the space time continuum) Why then did he make another time machine with the locomotive? Because he had to tell Marty he was all right and had to come back for Einstein.

  • As per http://www.bartleby.com/65/in/intern-co.html, J. J. É. Lenoir built the first gasoline powered internal combustion in 1859. de Rochas patented a design in 1862, and Otto built an engine in 1878. Gottlieb Daimler built what is considered the ancestor of today's Internal Combustion Engine in 1885. All this is by way of saying that gasoline would not have been impossible to find in 1885...especially considering that Edmund Drake drilled America's first oil well in 1859. 1) Internal combustion engines were not running rampant, so there wouldn't be any places to get gasoline. 2) Engines evolved a ton from 1885-1985. The fuel used 100 years ago was completely different and wouldn't have worked in a Delorean.
  • At the end of the film, Jennifer has the fax from the second movie saying 'You're Fired'. Then, because Marty stood up to Needles, the message erased. However, Jennifer still has the piece of paper. If Marty didn't get fired in 2015, then there would be no fax, and therefore no piece of paper at all. Jennifer shouldn't have had the piece of paper. Saying this would mean that the photograph in the first movie would disappear as it would have never been taken, and Doc and Marty never picked up the papers in the second movie, therefore the headlines wouldn't change, rather they'd disappear. But they *do* change, because they did pick up the paper themselves, as a sort of artifact from the future. Jennifer therefore would have brought back the fax paper from the future, but since the fax didn't print when events changed, there would be no message on the paper.

After Doc went back to 1885, he put the Delorean in an old mine shaft. When Marty went to 1885 to find him he got a hole in his gas tank, and need gas. Well, all they had to do was get some gas out of the Delorean that Doc came back in. Would had saved a lot of time. Oil and petrol are normally removed from a car for long-term storage. Although Doc could have kept the petrol he removed... This issue was also dealt with in the DVD commentary, in which it was speculated Doc didn't want to risk reopening the cave, potentially causing a cave-in and thus a paradox if the car can't be retrieved in 1955.

  • Okay, we're going to get a bit deep here. Doc and Marty found Doc's grave in 1955. Doc sends Marty back to 1885 to rescue Doc. Now.....remember....all hinges around the image on the picture. Once the grave stone is broken in the fight with Mad Dog Tannen the image of the grave disappears in the photo. Wouldn't the picture disappear too? No grave in 1885 means no grave in 1955 which means no reason to take a picture in the first place. But then again....once the grave is broken then there would have been no grave in 1955 for Doc to see. Therefore he would have never sent Marty back in the first place. HENCE...once the grave was broken....the timeline is fixed and Doc of 1885 would live happily ever after with Clara, Doc of 1955 would just work on getting Marty home, and Marty would have disappeared from the 1885 timeline and things would have continued from when Doc and Marty are digging out the old DeLorean. Told you it was deep. Marty took the picture of the grave BEFORE he went back to 1885 and changed the past, so there's no logical reason why the picture itself would disappear. Obviously, he wouldn't take a picture of nothing, but he had already taken the picture, which is why only the grave disappears.
  • In the scene at the start of the movie, the time machine is flying 50 feet or so in the air when it is struck by lightning and sent back to 1885. Later in the movie, we learn that the lightning destroyed the flying circuits. Assuming this is true, as soon as the time machine appeared in 1885, it would have fallen to the ground and been destroyed. We can assume a flying car from a future where everybody has a flying car would have some kind of device to get it down safely in event of malfunction. Otherwise, cars would fall out of the sky everytime anyone had a minor problem.]Corrected by Grumpy Scot
  • When the Doc from 1955 is loading up the DeLorian after fitting the new time circuit controls, he hands Marty the walkie talkies. However, in at the end of Back to the Future II the Doc has the other walkie talkie with him. How can Marty have both of them? Doc probably put his walkie talkie in the car before he sealed it up in the mine shaft and Marty found it in there.
  • When Doc and Marty find the Delorean in the mine, the tires have rotted off with time. It seems that all they had to do to run the car again was replace the tires. However, as any mechanic will know, in that amount of time not just the tires would have rotted. Every rubber hose and gasket, every piece of wire insulation, every bushing and grommet, and many other parts in the car would also need to be replaced. There would be no way to run the car short of completely rebuilding it. There were 4 or 5 days between the lightning strike and the trip to 1885. If any car parts needed replacing, Doc could have done it easily. Notice that the DeLorean even sat higher off the ground in the drive-in, suggesting that Doc had to replace the axles. The DeLorean went through a lot of refit to make up for the 70-year storage.
  • In the scene where Mad-Dog Tannen is waiting for Marty to come out of the salon for the show-down, Mad-Dog refers to Marty as 'DUDE', a term which was not used back in 1885. Incorrect. Originally the word "Dude" was applied to fancy-dressed city folk who went out west on vacation. In this usage it first appears in the 1870s.
  • When Doc and Marty hijack the train, they cut loose the rest of the train but keep the log car attached to the engine. Why? If they're using Doc's special "Presto Logs", then why need to drag an extra car that serves no use? They would've made 88 MPH in record time. Locomotives used far more water than fuel. The water was carried in the tender (log car). Therefore, the tender would have to remain attached in order to supply water for the loco during the run.

sourcesEdit

Screenshot from Back to the Future Part III

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