Television has reminded us that Hannibal Lecter is a character that we need in our lives. Television made a trip to Fargo worth it. Television reminded us why mothers and sons aren’t the best motel operators. Television has never been better. We think we can make television better.
Anytime anything related to Back to the Future shows up on this site the odds of that thing being written by me are 100%. Those are good odds. You can’t find those odds anywhere. You know what they say, always bet on Back…to the Future.
What Is It?
I’m not going to do that thing that some people do where they assume because they love something with their entire heart and soul that everyone must have the same carnal knowledge of it. Back to the Future was released in 1985 and while it has been immensely popular for decades there are some newbies out there who are sadly unaware. For the unenlightened I will provide this brief synopsis. Back to the Future centers around 17 year-old Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, and his unlikely, inexplicable relationship with Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. Most likely in his 50’s (weird but we’re oddly fine with this strange friendship), Doc Brown is a scientist, an inventor actually, and he just completed his greatest invention yet (well, the only one really)…a time machine, made out of a DeLorean.
To ultimately power the Flux Capacitor which is what makes time travel possible, Doc Brown had to steal plutonium from a group of Libyan terrorists who hired him to make a bomb (it was the 80’s after all). Don’t worry! He didn’t do it and instead gave them a “shoddy bomb casing full of used pinball machine parts.” While testing it with Marty, Doc Brown is shot and killed by the Libyans. In an attempt to escape Marty flees in the DeLorean but is sent back to 1955 where he accidentally interferes with his parents falling in love thus fucking with the entire space time continuum. Marty, with the help of 1955 Doc Brown, must get his parents to meet so his existence isn’t questioned, and find a way to get himself back…to the future.
Why This Would Work
From 1991-1992 there was a short-lived Back to the Future animated series which picked up where the last film (we mustn’t ever speak of this film) left off. Doc and his wife live in Hill Valley with their two children. Marty and his girlfriend Jennifer attend college. The DeLorean was rebuilt (RIP DeLorean in BTTF 3) and time traveling hijinx occur. In my televised version of the movie we’re keeping it live action and we’re going to pick up between the first and second films. Now I realize there wasn’t actually time to do that in the original movies but we’re going to take some liberties here because in the Back to the Future universe, that was the sweet spot. With Back to the Future the TV show your episode premises are limitless because you can go ANYWHERE in time. Plus this gives you the opportunity to see all that you wanted to see in the films. How many times did you say to yourself “Why didn’t Marty go there, at this time?” That’s simple, we were working with some time constraints. Pun intended. With a TV show you are no longer working with one, two, or three films but maybe 13-26 episodes a season. Obviously the world already had a pretty great time traveling TV show in the form of Quantum Leap but this show will be different because in every episode Marty and Doc will somehow screw up history, or the future, in such a way as to create catastrophic results and paradoxes if they do not correct their mistakes. Each episode will be based around them fixing what they broke.
For very obvious reasons we cannot cast Michael J. Fox or Christopher Lloyd in the TV show. With a movie as respected and loved as Back to the Future is, finding the perfect actors will be tricky. As far as Marty goes we’ve kind of lucked out. Michael J. Fox just happens to have a son and this son just happens to be his doppelganger.
Has he really acted in anything? No, but I am sure he can get some Marty McFly pointers from dear ol’ dad. As far as Doc Brown goes, whew…this is tough. It needs to be someone who can bring comedy to the character in the form of a subtle widening of the eyes but can also carry the physical comedy that was happening in most of Doc Brown’s reaction shots. With that formula I give you David Tennant who (get it?) would already bring some scientific time traveling knowledge from his days as the Doctor.
As much as I loved Elizabeth Shue taking over the role of Jennifer Parker in Back to the Future 2, I don’t really want too much if any of the Jennifer Parker character in the show. She was always a bit of a nuisance. I can’t part with Biff however because he is such a goddamn asshole. Since Biff might have to occasionally be old and young, depending on when/where they go, we have to find someone of a decent size who can do that transition easily. How about TJ Miller? He’s a big guy but can also play the passive Biff of 1985, and of course Miller can bring a little more comedy to the role.
And there we go. Those are the main characters. We don’t necessarily need to see the rest of the McFly family and every episode will feature a new cast of supporting actors so we’re set! Please allow me to further nerd it up by saying I’ve written, in my head, a fourth Back to the Future film. A lot of fans have. In fact fans of any series of films generally have an idea of what they’d like to see next. That being said the pilot episode of this show would IN MY DREAM WORLD be based on my sequel idea. Without getting too bogged down, because God knows I can, I’ll give you a rundown. Recall if you will that Doc Brown accidentally gets sent back to 1885 because the time circuit board was malfunctioning in Back to the Future 2. Recall further that one of the example dates Doc entered into the time circuit board in Back to the Future was July 4th, 1776 (Want to see the signing of the Declaration of Independence?). So, Marty and Doc accidentally get sent back to July 4, 1776 and in doing so prevent the Declaration of Independence from getting signed. They must figure out a way to make things right. If Marty thought stopping his birth was bad, think about what would happen if he stopped the birth of a nation.
Netflix. Netflix programming is the wave of the (back to the) future that is happening right now. You get more freedom. People watching the show get to binge watch and I think we are all tired of getting fucked in the ol’ A by Comcast, Verizon or similar.
With October 21, 2015 just around the corner it seems like the world is ripe for some more Back to the Future in our lives. God knows I am. Always. Forever.