Join Date: Dec 2000
The following is from an article titled "The Other Marty McFly Rides West" by Bruce Gordon in Starlog #170 (Sep. 1991):
"A funny thing happened on the way to the theater. We got there in the wrong time. Not at the wrong time, but in the wrong time.
It happened last year, on Tuesday, April 3, 1990, to be precise. In all our excitement to get an early look at Back to the Future III, which wasn't due to open in theaters for another month, it seems we somehow managed to cross over into an alternate dimension of time: one with an alternate version of Back to the Future III.
That's right, there's another timeline with another Back to the Future. And amazingly enough, this other Back to the Future answers every question ever raised in our previous essays!
Right about now, you're probably asking yourself, 'How could such an amazing (and convenient) coincidence come to be?'
Well, it's really quite simple.
There's no doubt that we live in a world of impulse and instant gratification. Being charter members of that not-so-elite club, we couldn't just sit around and wait for Part III to come out. So, we did what comes naturally - we made a quick trip over to the Universal Studio Tour in Hollywood and hijacked their time-traveling DeLorean.
While some friends created a diversion aboard the Glamor Tram, we jumped over the barriers and hopped into the DeLorean. With a flash of light and trail of flames, we shot across the parking lot at 88 miles an hour - which, coincidentally, is also the exact speed it takes to elude studio security!
In an instant, we were transported forward to May 25, 1990, just in time for the opening of Back to the Future III.
But there was a slight problem.
As we have all learned from Doc Brown, whenever you go forward in time, you wind up arriving in your own most likely future. Or, to put it another way, your most likely future is simply an extension of the way things are today.
Now, here's the important part: At the moment we went forward in time, on April 3, 1990, 'The Return of the Other Marty McFly' had just been published in Starlog # 154. However (and it's a big however), on that date, Part III had not yet opened in the theaters.
So, when we went forward in time, we wound up in our most likely future, a future with a version of Back to the Future III that was exactly the way the article had predicted it would be.
At 8:00 p.m., on May 25, 1990. Part III screened for a loud and passionate crowd. Clutching our souvenir Marty McFly rainbow caps in our hands, we anxiously waited for the story to unfold.
This is the film we saw in that alternate dimension:
As expected, the film opens in 1955, at the moment the lightning hits the clock tower and sends Marty back to 1985. Doc is dancing a jig in the street, when out from behind a parked car jumps another Marty McFly. 'I'm back from the future.' Marty hollers, as Doc falls to the ground in a dead faint.
The scene changes, and we see a flying DeLorean rushing through the clouds. We move in on the car, and see it's not Doc at the controls, it's Old Biff! He has just given a copy of Gray's Sports Almanac to his younger self, and right now, he's busy trying to find his way back to 2015.
Just as Old Biff hits 88 miles per hour, the Destination Time Panel shorts out. If only Doc had gotten that panel fixed! With a major memory flashback jumbling its circuits, the panel resets itself to Doc's previous destination, October 27, 1985.
In one of those great cosmic coincidences, Old Biff lands on the roof of Biff's Pleasure Palace at the moment his younger self - Rich Biff - is regaining consciousness after Doc knocked him on the head with the DeLorean's door.
As Rich Biff stumbles to his feet, Old Biff comes fuzzily into view. Rich Biff stares for a second, then realizes that this old man is the same guy who gave him the Sports Almanac back in 1955.
Rich Biff grabs Old Biff, demanding some answers - and also demanding the keys to that flying DeLorean. Old Biff struggles with Rich Biff - he's well aware of what kind of an adversary he's up against - until Old Biff clubs Rich Biff over the head with his cane. The cane cracks, but doesn't break off. Rich Biff stumbles backwards and falls through the skylight to the floor of his penthouse below.
Old Biff climbs back into the DeLorean, starts it up and takes off once again.
Twenty feet below, Rich Biff lies dying on the floor.
Realizing he may have just killed himself (literally), Old Biff can only think of one thing to do: Go back to 1955, retrieve the sports book and return everything to the way it was. Old Biff takes off in the DeLorean and disappears in a flash of light.
At the very moment Old Biff leaves 1985, Rich Biff dies on his penthouse floor.
The scene changes to 1955. It's 6:00 a.m., 22 minutes before sunrise, and Doc and Marty have just arrived from the evil 1985. Marty sets off to retrieve the Sports Almanac - but winds up getting trapped in Young Biff's garage instead.
Just down the road, we see Old Biff also arriving in 1955. He stashes the DeLorean - something everybody must be old hands at by now - in a hiding place down at Old Man Peabody's Twin Pines, er, Lone Pine Ranch.
Finally, at 6:00 p.m. - after 12 wasted hours in 1955 - Young Biff opens the garage and takes his car to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, with Marty hiding in the back seat. Moments later, Doc rides up to the Tannen house on a bike. 'Marty!' he calls, 'Where is that kid?' Finding no sign of Marty, Doc rides off.
As Doc pedals away, out of the bushes steps Old Biff. He has been trying to figure out a way to retrieve the Sports Almanac, but now it looks like somebody - namely Doc and Marty - is going to do the job for him! Old Biff figures it's time to get back to 2015, before anything else goes wrong. He heads back to Peabody's ranch and fires up the DeLorean.
The time panel display reads 6:38 p.m.
Old Biff swings the DeLorean around the barn, guns it up to 88 miles per hour - and flies straight into Old Man Peabody's last remaining pine tree. The force of the impact sprays pine needles across two counties. Old Man Peabody runs out of the house, firing his shotgun into the sky. 'That does it!' he screams. 'From now on, I'm breeding oak trees! Let's see somebody try and knock those down!'
Meanwhile, Old Biff is on his way back to 2015. But there's one thing he didn't figure on: Since his younger self still has the Sports Almanac, the evil 1985 is still the most likely future. And in that evil 1985, Old Biff is lying dead on the floor of his Please Palace penthouse.
That means there's not going to be any place for Biff in 2015.
So, when Old Biff lands the DeLorean in 2015, he crawls out, collapses, and disappears, forever erased from existence. Biff has rid the world of Biff.
We return now to Doc's home at 1640 Riverside Drive. It's 1955 again, and time for Doc to help Marty return (once more) to 1985.
Doc and Marty head off to the DelGado mine, where they find the DeLorean still sealed off in a side tunnel after 70 years, two months, and 13 days. In the process, they also find Doc's tombstone in the old Boot Hill cemetery outside the mine.
Here Lies Emmett Brown. Died September 7, 1885. Shot in the back by Buford Tannen over a matter of 80 dollars.
Now, it's Marty's turn to save Doc.
They gas up the DeLorean, and Marty time travels back to Wednesday, September 2, in the wild, wild west of 1885. Marty tracks down Doc and convinces him it's time to leave the Old West behind.
When Doc realizes that they need gas for Marty's DeLorean, they do the obvious thing: They head for the old DelGado mine, where there just happens to be another DeLorean - the one that carried Doc to 1885. And as anyone might assume, that DeLorean still has plenty of gas.
On the way back from the mine, with Marty's horse lugging two small barrels of gasoline, Doc spots Clara Clayton and her runaway wagon. Doc rides off and rescues Clara, pulling her to safety moments before she would have plunged to the bottom of Shonash Ravine - Clayton Ravine - the deadly fall that was to have been her destiny.
Back at the blacksmith shop, Doc and Marty patch the hole in the fuel line and gas up Marty's DeLorean. Outside the shop, the Sun is already approaching beginning to set, and the rapidly approaching darkness will make a nighttime escape impossible. Remember, Doc's letter told us that the flying circuits were destroyed when he crashed, and there aren't any roads here in 1885.
Yes, where they're going, they need roads!
So, with a free evening on their hands, Doc and Marty head over to the Hill Valley Town Festival, where Mad Dog challenges Marty to a shootout, to take place Monday morning at 8 a.m. Doc looks at the photo of the tombstone and sees Marty's name - Clint Eastwood, that is - where Doc's own name used to be. 'Doc, don't worry,' says Marty. 'We're going back to the future tomorrow!'
There's just one problem, though - Doc has fallen head over heels for Clara. (After all, she's one in a googolplex - and she like Jules Verne!) Doc decides to stay in 1885.
Sunday morning dawns as Doc helps Marty get the DeLorean ready for its return to 1985. On a horse trail just outside of town, Marty speeds up to 88 and disappears in a flash of light. Doc pulls out the Polaroid of the tombstone, and sees that the space where Marty's name used to be is just blank granite.
As Doc starts dancing in the dirt, he turns around - and finds himself face to face with Mad Dog Tannen, who has been watching the whole thing from up atop the hill. 'We were all ridin' over to Pine City on, uh, business,' says Mad Dog, 'when we saw that silver wagon you were ridin'.'
Mad Dog demands to know where Marty was going - and when he's coming back. Doc smiles. 'He isn't ever coming back, Tannen. He's gone for good!'
'Well, I aim to shoot somebody on Monday,' Mad Dog growls, 'and I'd prefer it be that Eastwood fella. But if he's just too dang yella, I guess it'll have to be you!'
Doc looks down at the Polaroid. It's no longer blank. Emmett Brown is once again carved clearly into the stone.
So, Doc decides he had better get out of Hill Valley - and Clara insists on going with him. At precisely 8:00 a.m. Monday, Doc and Clara ride into town, and run straight into Mad Dog and his gang.
'Where do you think you're going'?' Mad Dog asks.
Mustering up his greatest bravura, Doc hollers, 'What do you care? Where we're going, you'll never find us, as long as you live!'
'As long as I live?' Mad Dog snarls. 'If I was you, I'd worry about how long you're gonna live!' As Mad Dog pulls out his gun, Doc rears his horse up into the air - sending Mad Dog tumbling headfirst into the tombstone. It shatters into the street.
Doc looks over to the station, where the train is already pulling out. 'Come on, Clara!' Doc hollers. 'We'll head off the train at Coyote Pass!' As Doc and Clara make a dash for the train, Mad Dog stumbles to his feet, points his gun at Doc, then falls over backwards into a pile of manure.
One frantic ride through the woods later, Doc and Clara catch up with the train, and leap from their steeds onto the caboose. They collapse into a pair of seats, settle back and ride the train all the way to the end of the line - San Francisco, that boomtown by the bay, a city with everything a scientist could ever need.
The scene changes again and we rejoin Marty as he arrives in 1985 at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, October 27.
With a flash of light, he crashes through the time barrier - then crashes headlong into the Fox Photo Booth in the mall's parking lot. The horse trail Doc picked in 1885 must have run right through Old Man Peadbody's ranch, the mall's future site.
A six-man construction crew is standing near the wreckage, staring in disbelief at the car that came out of nowhere. The crew had just finished working an all-night shift, replacing the booth that the Libyans had crashed into the day before. Now, it's just broken lumber and little yellow boxes.
Miraculously, Marty escapes the crash unhurt. He crawls out of the twisted wreckage, stands up, and sees the construction workers coming. They're not smiling.
Marty takes a quick look at the DeLorean. The car itself might still be driveable, but the critical time circuits are completely destroyed. And with Doc still living back in the Old West, there won't ever be anyone around to fix them.
As Marty backs away from the rapidly gathering crowd - then turns and breaks into a full run - the camera pulls back and we see the sign at the parking lot entrance.
The Oak Tree Mall.
Marty makes his way back to his house. It's 11:15 a.m., and the rest of the McFly family is on their way to Sunday brunch. As Marty walks up the driveway, he sees that the garage is empty. 'Hey, Marty,' his sister calls. 'What are you doing back here? I thought you went to the lake.'
He gives her a puzzled stare, then looks into the empty garage. 'Where's my truck?'
'You drove off in it yesterday morning, Marty. Are you all right? Where's Jennifer?'
'That's what I'm gonna find out.' Marty replies. With an uneasy feeling growing inside him, he grabs one of his skateboards out of the garage - wheels again!- and rides off to find Jennifer. 'Where's that hoverboard when I need it?' he mutters to himself. 'I sure hope Doc is taking good care of it!'
Marty skates up to Jennifer's house and finds her still sleeping on the porch. He awakens her with his prince's kiss - the same kiss he has been trying to plant all these years. (Well, actually, it has only been two days before!)
Jennifer asks Marty where his truck is.
'Marty's got it,' Marty replies. She stares at him. 'Another Marty,' he continues, as if that answers the question.
'What other Marty, Marty?'
Marty stare off into space. 'There can only be one answer,' he finally concludes, 'there must be two of me here in 1985.'
Two Marty McFlys!
OK, admit it, you knew it had to come to this, sooner or later.
The scene changes, and now we're seeing Marty - the other Marty - riding in the truck. And sitting next to him is, you guessed it, another Jennifer!
They're on their way back from their Saturday camping trip (which went very well, judging by the looks on their faces). As they're waiting at a traffic light near the train tracks, another pickup stops next to them. At the wheel is Needles.
'How's it hangin', McFly?'
Needles obviously wants to race - and Marty isn't above taking the bait. But remember, this is the Marty who has just returned from 1955, and who has only been driving this truck for one day. All he ever had was a skateboard!
The light changes, and with a squeal of tires, the two trucks take off together. Needles is out in front as Marty tries to shift gears. He looks down at the shifter - just as a Rolls Royce pulls out from a side street.
Marty looks up, but it's too late.
We cut back to our Marty and Jennifer, as they walk down the road, trying to sort out what's gong on. In the background, we can hear the sound of sirens. As Marty and Jennifer round the corner, they can see there has been a wreck. One of the cars looks like it used to be a Rolls Royce, and the other car looks like - Mary stares in horror - his truck.
His truck, with him inside!
And another Jennifer!
From across the street, they can see the other Marty lying on the ground, still breathing. And there's the other Jennifer - she's all right - leaning over him.
'Marty,' our Jennifer gasps, 'that's me!'
She starts to cross the street, but Marty pulls her back. 'We can't let them see us.' He says. Then, he adds, 'And don't ask why! Just trust me on this one!'
They both take cover near a crossing gate on the railroad tracks. 'This must be the accident Doc warned me about in his letter.' Marty says to himself, 'the accident that ruins my life. Uh, his life.'
Jennifer stares at him. 'The accident? Then, it wasn't a dream!'
Marty and Jennifer watch from the distance as the accident is cleared away. Not sure exactly what to do, they turn and walk slowly back to town, following the railroad tracks. As the tracks pass through a thick grove of trees, Marty and Jennifer hear a distant rumble - then a blinding flash of light knocks them to the ground.
A huge, steam-powered locomotive has appeared on the track, right in front of them. And waving from the window is Doc Brown.
'Doc.' Marty shouts. 'I didn't think I would ever see you again! You've got to help us, everything's all mixed up! There's another one of me here, and another Jennifer, and I, I mean he, just go hauled away in an ambulance!'
'Don't worry, Marty! You'll be fine - that is, he'll be fine! I've already made arrangements to leave written instructions with his doctor, describing a surgical procedure I learned long ago, back in the future. He'll be as good as new by this time tomorrow!'
'What about the guy driving the Rolls Royce?' Marty asks.
'Don't worry about him. He's just a big motion picture director, out here scouting locations for his next picture. I'll be sending him some story ideas I've had.'
'That's great, Doc,' Marty hollers back. 'I didn't know you wrote stories!'
Of course, Marty! This one's about a crazy cartoon rabbit!'
'Roger, Doc! Hey, if he likes your ideas, maybe he'll give you a part in the movie!'
"I could play the villain,' Doc replies, striking a bug-eyed pose. 'A crazed scientist with a grudge against the world. But seriously, Marty, we've still got a problem!'
'Yes. It's you, Marty. You and Jennifer! There's no place for either of you here in 1985, since both of you are already here! It's all my fault, of course, I just wasn't thinking fourth-dimensionally!'
'So, what happened?'
'Well, when I sent that other Marty back to 1985 on the night of the lightning storm, there was a second Marty - you - hiding behind a parked car!'
'I remember, Doc,' says Marty. 'When you saw me, you fainted dead away!'
'Right! Well, that Marty reached 1985 on Saturday morning, at 1:24 a.m. to be precise. After he discovered his new truck he and Jennifer went off on their camping trip.
'Unfortunately, when I sent you back from 1885, you didn't get here until Sunday morning at 11:00 - a full day after the other Marty got here. By the time you arrived, he had already taken your place!'
'Doc,' Jennifer yells, 'what about me?'
'When we brought you back from 2015 and dropped you off on your patio at 9:00 p.m. Saturday night, we were actually dropping you off in an alternate 1985 - a 1985 that already had its own Jennifer. When the alternate 1985 was destroyed, the two dimensions transformed into one - which still had both Jennifers. Of course, by the time you woke up, the other Jennifer had already left on the camping trip with the other Marty!'
'So, Doc.' Marty wonders. 'what are we going to do?'
'Well,' Doc replies. 'since there's no place for either of you here, why don't you both come along with us? We've got plenty of adventures left ahead of us! I've finally figured out how to keep this time travel business under control, so I'm going to open up an Institute of Future Technology, for the advanced study of time.'
'An institute?' Marty shouts back.
'Of course! I think I'm going to build it in Florida,' Doc continues, becoming lost in his thoughts once again. 'The high humidity is good for the flux dispersal, and besides, it might not be bad for my health!'
'By the way,' says Marty, 'how did you know we'd be right here, I mean, right now?'
'It's very simple. When I suddenly realized I had duplicated both of you in 1985 - a thought which occurred to me right in the middle of testing my new flux miniaturizer - I figured I'd better come back here and straighten things out. I knew that the flow of the time continuum was bound to bring the two Marty and the two Jennifers together - it always does - so I took a chance that you would be here at the temporal junction point, which, of course, is the scene of the accident!'
Then, Marty and Jennifer climb aboard the train. Clara is there, along with Einstein, Jules and Verne. Doc fires up the circuits, the train rises in the air, spins around and takes off right toward the audience.
And across the screen come the words:
TO BE CONTINUED
The trailer that followed - apparently a new tradition in Back to the Future films - showed such enticing scenes as Doc and Marty testing a time-traveling suit of armor back in the Middle Ages, and Clara on trial as a witch in Old Salem. We saw Jennifer as Lady Guinevere and Marty as the Yellow Knight. The trailer even left us with a cliffhanger as we saw Doc back in the Dark Ages, being led to the chopping block by Tannen the Terminator!
The film was finally over, but it turned out our adventure was only beginning.
As we walked out of the theater, we heard some people remark, 'Wow! Part III was even better than Part II, which won all those Academy Awards.'
We asked them what they were talking about.
'Hey, where have you been?' they replied. "Part II won an Oscar for best writing, best director, best cinematography - it even won two Best Actor Oscars, not to mention Best Picture!'
"Now, wait a minute,' we thought.
Back to the Future II getting all those Oscars? Any SF film winning major Academy Awards? Not in any dimension we ever heard of!
Suddenly, everything became very clear - we had to be in the wrong dimension.
So, we got back into the DeLorean one more time, carefully set the destination time to the exact moment we left, and crossed our fingers. In a flash, we landed and prayed we had returned to our original dimension.
There would only be one way to know for sure: We would have to wait all over again for Part III's premiere. So, on May 25, 1990, we once again headed for the theater, hoping we wouldn't be disappointed. And, boy, were we ever!
Watching this other Back to the Future III - the real Part III - is what it must have been like to be trapped in evil 1985. Everything was going wrong! It was great to visit with Doc and Marty again, and as a Western, it was terrific fun. But we saw plot holes in Part III big enough to fly a DeLorean through. Heck, big enough to fly Doc's steam train through!
There was only thing we could figure: The story problems must have been caused by our goofing around with the time continuum - Bob Zemeckis and Bob Gale couldn't possibly have made this big a mess without outside interference!
First off, in 1885, when Doc and Marty realized that they couldn't start the DeLorean without gasoline, why didn't they just get the gas from the DeLorean parked in the mine? They both could have been out of there the next morning! Even if Doc had drained the tank, he would have saved the irreplaceable gasoline!
And just what exactly is the story with Marty McFly's ancestors? There's something odd going on here!
Listen: Shamus McFly's wife, Maggie, was a dead ringer for Marty's mother Lorraine. But how could this be? Lorraine was a Baines, not a McFly. We know that Shamus and Maggie had a son, named William McFly, who was Marty's great-grandfather. William and his wife must have had a son, who became Marty's grandfather. That son married, and had a son of his own, who was name George - Marty's father. Now, since Lorraine Baines looks just like Maggie McFly, a granddaughter of Maggie must have married a man named Baines. But that means - gasp - Lorraine's grandmother (who married the Baines) and George's grandmother (descended from Maggie) must have been one and the same! George McFly married the granddaughter of his own grandmother!
Ah, small town life.
There's more: When Doc and Marty are in 1885, Doc mentions Marty's accident with the Rolls Royce. If Doc already knew about Marty's accident when he took Marty and Jennifer to 2015, why was he wasting their time chasing Marty Jr.? Why not prevent the accident? On the other hand, if Doc heard about the accident for the first time while they were in 2015, why didn't Doc warn Marty about it in the Western Union letter? After all, it's the least he could do since Marty saved Doc's life with that letter about the Libyan terrorists!
Then, of course, there's the whole incomprehensible business about the train hitting the DeLorean, right there in the middle of Hilldale.
First off, the DeLorean rolls down the tracks past a sign that says Eastwood Ravine. But why would it be called Eastwood Ravine? As far as the townspeople know, Marty had no connection with the ravine. And if they had found out he was the hijacker, why would they name their ravine after a thief who stole a locomotive and crashed it off a bridge?
One more thing: Take a look at the ground around the sign. Time travel works in strange ways, but it doesn't use shovels - and it sure doesn't leave footprints!
And this: When the diesel engine collided with the car, how come the train didn't stop? How come no one in any of the cars waiting at the crossing came over to see what happened? Why didn't anyone come out of their Hilldale houses to see the crashed car? How come the police never came by - even hours later when Marty and Jennifer returned to the scene? Was Hilldale populated by emotionless pod people from nearby Santa Mira?
When Marty got back to 1985 on Sunday morning, he went home and found Biff still waxing his truck. But back in Part I, Biff started waxing it on Saturday. If Biff had really spent two days putting on that second coat of wax, he would have rubbed the paint right off the truck!
And how did Doc know that Marty and Jennifer would be standing by the tracks at the exact moment Doc arrived in his flying locomotive? How did he know there wouldn't be another train coming in the opposite direction?
Finally, last but not least, who was in the Rolls Royce? Not getting the answer to a question like that is like never finding out the meaning of 'Rosebud'.
'You're just being too picky,' you may be thinking. 'After all, it's only a movie.'
It's not just a movie - it's Back to the Future."
Bruce Gordon, a show producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, is part of the team developing the new Tomorrowland for Disneyland. His previous exploits with the 'Other Marty McFly' appeared in Starlog #108 and #154. Tony Baxter, David Mumford and Doug Hartwell provided special assistance and technological input for this journey.
Now, why was Mr. Gordon disappointed? Well, it seems to be because Part III doesn't verify his "Marty II" theory. Why else concoct an alternate Part III instead of just dealing with the movie? It seems to me that he could have proposed a Marty III or even a Marty IV instead. As I posted previously, his essays on Part II and III are not nearly as interesting as his original essay. He seemed to become obsessed with attempting to "prove" his original theory despite evidence in the movies that contradict it. Why did Gordon include the whole part with Old Biff? The only reason is to answer why Old Biff's departure time was 6:38 p.m. (several hours after he arrived). To me, this departure time is just interesting trivia - not a question that Part III should have answered. Old Biff's inclusion in Part III would just needlessly confuse people. Basically, Gordon concocts a Part III that answers HIS questions from Part II.
The following is an interesting letter from Starlog #180 (July 1992):
"I am writing in response to Bruce Gordon's Back to the Future Part III article. I was also disappointed with the way Part III turned out. I would have much rather seen Bruce Gordon's version of Part III. However, there is another Marty in our Back to the Future Part III. As you'll recall towards the end of Part III, the tombstone that Doc's name is supposed to be on is smashed. The photograph that Marty had shows that the tombstone will not exist in 1955. Think of the consequences of this. Once 1955 rolls around, Marty and the '55 Doc will get the DeLorean out of the Delgado mine, but Marty will not see a tombstone. Marty will think that Doc is enjoying himself in the Old West and leave him there. This Marty will go directly back to 1985. Probably still to October 27, 1985 at 11 a.m. The first thing this Marty will do is go to Doc's lab and dismantle the time machine. At this same time, the original Marty will have arrived from 1885. He will go home and then to Jennifer's house. This is why the two Martys didn't see each other. The alternate Marty will go home and find that everyone's at brunch and his truck is gone. He'll then use the hoverboard to travel to Jennifer's house, and find that Jennifer isn't home either. Marty will then just go back home. Imagine the original Marty's shock when he finds another Marty sleeping in his bed, not to mention the screams they'll both let out."
Letter by Tony Tuski
Here is a Bruce Gordon-esque theory to explain this away:
1885 ("Eastwood" Reality) - Doc arrives. Doc leaves letter with Western Union for Marty. Marty arrives. Marty saves Doc due to his knowledge of the tombstone in 1955. Marty departs.
1885 ("Hip" Reality) - Doc arrives. Doc leaves letter with Western Union for Marty. Marty IV arrives. (Marty III was the Switzerland Marty in the Evil 1985.) Marty IV's time machine does NOT get hit by an arrow as he departed 1955 from a different location. Marty IV does NOT save Doc as there was NO tombstone in his 1955. Doc tells Marty IV to go back to 1985. Marty IV departs. Doc is shot by Mad Dog Tannen.
1955 ("Hip" Reality) - Doc departs. Marty receives letter from Doc. Marty and the 1955 Doc see the tombstone. Marty departs.
1955 ("Eastwood" Reality) - Doc departs. Marty IV receives letter from Doc. There is NO tombstone for Marty IV and the 1955 Doc to discover. At the last moment realizing he will never see Doc again, Marty IV resets the time circuits to 1885 (instead of 1985) so he can see Doc one last time. Marty IV departs.
1985 ("Eastwood" Reality) - Marty arrives. Marty avoids the car accident due to his 1885 experience.
1985 ("Hip" Reality) - Marty IV arrives. Marty IV gets into the car accident with the Rolls Royce.
2015 ("Hip" Reality) - Marty and Doc arrive. The 2015 Marty is Marty IV.
2015 ("Eastwood" Reality) - Marty IV and Doc arrive. This is OUR Marty's future.
If anyone is confused, read my posts for Part I and II. Of course, Mr. Gordon probably didn't advocate this theory since he wrote that the 2015 Marty was his "Marty II". There is a way he could have kept that part of his theory. What did Doc and Marty do when they discovered they were in a different 1985 than they remembered? They found out what the problem was and then left to correct it. So, if his "Marty II" (by his theory) was stuck in Marty I's reality, wouldn't he try to find out what happened? Perhaps, his parents told him about "Calvin Klein" and maybe even showed him a yearbook picture of the dance and remarked how much Marty looked liked him. "Marty II" would then depart for 1955 for two reasons: to be "Calvin Klein" to get back to the family he remembers and to save Doc. He then would have basically the same adventures as our Marty: to 1955, to 1985, to 2015, to another Evil 1985, back to 1955, etc. So, in the above theory, just replace Marty IV with Marty II. However, that seems convoluted to me. Even with this theory, he would have to abandon his "merging realities" theory. It seems Mr. Gordon didn't want to admit that he was wrong.
The following is a great letter criticizing that essay from Starlog #177 (April 1992):
"I desperately waited one year, two months and five days from the theatrical release of Back to the Future Part III for Bruce Gordon's final essay on the trilogy. Boy, did I waste a lot of time sitting on the edge of my seat! What happened, Bruce?!!!
Bruce created a BTTF fanatic in me from his two previous essays in issues #108 and #154. I purchased Starlog #108 right off the newsstand in July 1986, and I was hooked! I rented Part I and watched the mall parking lot scene about 300 times! One of my biggest concerns on the opening night of Part II was if the filmmakers would remember to have the clock tower ledge broken from Part I, and they did! Bruce really notices a lot of details! But 'The Other Marty McFly Goes West' was a tremendous disappointment. Don't get me wrong, he posed some OK questions this time, but you had to read through four-and-a-half pages of 'fantasy' before he actually got to the 'real' movie. Then, after giving us a little bit of brain food, he quickly reverted back to the fantasy story by using Universal's BTTF:The Ride storyline. Bruce, all I learned from your alternate movie is that you are a great fantasy writer, and that you ought to begin a script for BTTF Part IV, a BTTF comic book series or write for the BTTF cartoon staff. But it wasn't what I've come to expect from such a talented individual!"
[Note from me - This is a completely accurate description of the article.]
"There are many downfalls in his third essay. First, Bruce Gordon did not even answer the questions he posed in the second essay, mainly concerning the hoverboard. When I saw Part II on opening night, I too noticed that Marty was leaving behind the hoverboard in 1955. But when Part III opens, we see Marty using it as a footrest in Doc's mansion! When did he get it? Why didn't he ride it into town to begin with? So, he ran into town on foot, confronted 1955 Doc, drove the fainted Doc back to his mansion, and along the way, stopped and picked up the hoverboard? It seems that Bruce also forgot about Old Biff's demise (explained in 'The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy' on home video), and to add one more DeLorean to the number of time machines residing in Hill Valley on November 12, 1955 (four, including the one in the old mining cave).
Second, Marty and Doc could not have gotten gas out of the DeLorean in the mine, because Doc drained the tank before hiding the DeLorean away. He did? Yes! Let me quote Doc from 1955 when he and Marty are in the drive-in parking lot:'I think we're about ready! I put gas in the tank, ...' This means that Doc in 1885 had to have drained the tank, or the gas evaporated over 70 years. True, if Doc did drain the tank, we know that he would have kept the gas for future usage. But I cannot see how Bruce, a man of great vision, could have missed this conversation in Part III. ...
Next, what does it matter who was in the Rolls Royce? That has no bearing on the wreck, or on Marty and Jennifer's futures whatsoever. It could have been Crispin Glover and Claudia Wells!
Gordon had many interesting points about the train sequence, but he neglected to mention the major problems with the ending. Since when did the flux capacitor allow Doc to space travel? We've seen the DeLorean travel in time over and over. But when we see the train arrive on the tracks at the end, where did it come from? Remember, Doc said that he had to go pick up Einstein at his lab. His lab was in the same 1985 dimension on the time continuum, but I assume it was located across town. So how could Doc time travel in the train from his lab to the wreckage site of the DeLorean? He must have gone to another time period somewhere in between. The DeLorean could not travel in space, so how else could the train have gotten there?
Also, how did Doc build the train time machine in 1885? The only parts he had to work with were the hoverboard and the manifold off of the DeLorean. Were these part futuristic enough to build a flux capacitor in 1885?
And where did Doc get the second train from? Did he buy it? He could have, because he still would have had that suitcase full of money in 1885. And where did he get all that money? Was it left over from the insurance claim when his mansion burned down (remember the newspaper clipping on the lab wall in the opening credits of Part I?) Or was it from selling a certain rare element? Remember, Doc had the DeLorean 'hover-converted' in 2015, so he no longer had a use for the Plutonium. Wouldn't Plutonium carry a hefty price in the future? Doc had to have sold the remaining Plutonium in 2015 in order to pay for the $39,999.95 hover-conversion, his 'rejuvenation', and Marty 'Jr.' clothes. Maybe he had enough left over to purchase a train, too! Surely he would not steal, uh, borrow another train from the railroad!
These are the questions I would have like to have seen Bruce pose and answer, instead of the 'dream' we got. As entertaining as it was, he should have left that stuff to the cartoon series. He posed some good novice questions this time, but not good enough to appease fans like myself. We have grown accustomed to expect much more from Bruce's expertise! (I still don't know how he spotted that silhouetted Marty II in the mall parking lot scene!) I just hope now that Starlog has published his essay, they will realize that they published an essay written by Bruce II! We fans want to know, 'Where is the other Bruce Gordon?'..."
Letter by Stephen M. Clark
The following is ONE good comment (which I agree with) that Bruce Gordon made in Starlog #170:
"When Doc and Marty are in 1885, Doc mentions Marty's accident with the Rolls Royce. If Doc already knew about Marty's accident when he took Marty and Jennifer to 2015, why was he wasting their time chasing Marty Jr.? Why not prevent the accident? On the other hand, if Doc heard about the accident for the first time while they were in 2015, why didn't Doc warn Marty about it in the Western Union letter? After all, it's the least he could do since Marty saved Doc's life with that letter about the Libyan terrorists!"
In Starlog #177, Donald Alan Webster responded to this:
"Doc has an aversion to changing history for fear of creating paradoxes that might somehow result in the universe's destruction. Therefore, he would be reluctant to tell Marty about the accident until he had to in order to save Marty's life. (Saving Marty Jr. would be a relatively safe change.) Warning Marty in the Western Union message would not be paying him back since the accident was not fatal."
That explanation doesn't wash with me.
Here is a partial reaction to Gordon's Part III from Starlog #177 (April 1992):
"Bruce Gordon's alternate Back to the Future Part III is so much worse than the one we saw that we should congratulate him if he indeed accidentally messed up the time continuum. This time, it was an improvement. The alternate version (apart from apparently being an hour longer) is needlessly convoluted, illogical, and sometimes outright silly. (Roger Rabbit? Puh-lease!) For one thing, it ignores the all important plot thread set up in Part II about Marty's aversion to being called 'chicken'. Marty needs to learn his lesson and in the real Part III, he does, but not in Gordon's version. Also, the whole business of Old Biff killing Rich Biff after Marty and Doc have left Rich Biff in the DeLorean and Old Biff later arriving in 1955 while Marty and Doc arrive to get the Sports Almanac back is illogical. Marty and Doc cannot make their trips until after Old Biff returns to 2015. So, we have two different timelines branching off from Old Biff giving Young Biff the almanac: One without our Doc and Marty and one with. The latter does not come into existence until Old Biff gets back. Anyway, didn't Rich Biff die when Lorraine shot him to death several years after 1985?"
Letter by Donald Alan Webster
also the link to the website i'm getting them off:http://scifiscoundrels.com/?p=127
cause its getting confusing with all these big quote bits