In the mid-1980’s, Michael J. Fox was one of the most bankable movie stars, building up a loyal following of fans and a respectable collection of films to his name. Of these, the Back to the Future trilogy is undoubtedly the series for which he will forever be best known.
Released, and initially set, in 1985, the story is about an ordinary teenager named Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), who ends up whisked back in time when he gets caught up in a test of Doctor Emmet Brown’s (Christopher Lloyd) latest invention. The idea for the flux capacitor came to Doc Brown when he fell off the toilet after trying to hang a picture, and it was this invention that made time travel possible. So, the flux capacitor has been hooked up to a DeLorean, which when driven at 88mph will allow the car to travel through time. The test is interrupted by some terrorists (who Doc Brown stole some plutonium from to power the car) and Marty end’s up being the world’s first time traveller whilst trying to escape them.
Marty ends up back in 1955. Realising he’s going to need help to get back to his own time, he seeks out the Doc Brown of 1955. Obviously Doc Brown doesn’t initially believe Marty, but eventually comes round and berates his future self for not realising that generating the kind of power needed (1.21 Gigawatts!) is not going to be very easy using the technology of the day. As luck would have it, Marty knows that the clock in the town square is going to be hit by lightning in a few days time, and this force of nature should be able to generate the required amount of electricity to power the flux capacitor.
Sounds simple so far, but unfortunately Marty also bumps into his parents! He gets taken in by his Mother’s family when he gets knocked down by his Grandfather’s car. Lorraine, his Mother-to-be, starts to fall for Marty, so to avoid being wiped out of existence completely he must also play matchmaker for his reluctant Father, George. Marty also falls foul of the young Biff Tannen, the local bully, who in the future was still a bully to George.
Marty manages to get his parents together at the school prom by having George stand up to Biff. Marty also helps to invent Rock ‘n’ Roll in the process when he stands in for the guitar player of the band performing at the prom. Having put things back on course just in time, Marty dashes to the DeLorean and returns to his own time, only to find a few changes have occured, with his Dad now being a successful Sci-Fi author, and Biff no longer the bully.
But that’s not quite all, as the film ends on a cliffhanger with Doc Brown returning from a trip to the future saying that Marty’s kids are in trouble, thus opening the way for the sequel…