Wasting your precious time on experiments that constantly prove lacklustre, and exhausting your family's fortune to fund said trials is enough of a catalyst to send a person... a little mental, as highlighted by Doc Brown's eccentric and strangely lovable behavior.
But the idea that this infinitely brilliant character could have been harboring a deep sadness colors Back To The Future (BFFT) in a much more melancholic shade. Get ready for some fan theory!
Back To The Future: Was Doc Brown Suicidal?
Now this idea, discussed in typical fervent fashion by reddit, does seem a tad farfetched, because it involves Doc Brown being the main culprit in an attempted murder suicide, but hear it out and see what you think.
When Marty first encounters Doc Brown in the Twin Pines Mall parking lot, Brown is broken from the failures of his past inventions. His last chance at self validation and life hangs on the success of his time travelling DeLorean. Brown knows the Libyans are after him, so if it doesn't work, what's to lose when you've lost everything?
Brown revs the previously untested DeLorean up to 65 MPH (why 65? Why not leave it longer?), letting it loose towards them knowing that if it indeed does not work, he's going to be smeared all over the lot. Why he decides to coerce the video camera wielding Marty back next to him kind of destroys the theory.
Marty is 17 years old and Brown's last link to the outside world; the personification of pop culture, where the world stood in the eighties and where its future lies. Why would the Doc want to murder an innocent teenager who is, possibly, the only thing that is keeping him... sane? So in this timeline, let's call it Doc A, Brown is so depressed, he's willing to murder a teenager, a dog and commit suicide in order to prove to himself that he is brilliant at something: failure.
Moving on. The experiment works, Einstein and the DeLorean are sent into the future, much to Brown's short lived glee. He is murdered by the Libyans and Marty escapes to 1955, where he meets a younger and just as depressed Doc Brown sporting his ridiculous mind reading device and a painful looking cut on his forehead. A result of "hanging a clock in his bathroom."
No-one needs a clock in their bathroom, Doc Brown had made a botched attempt at hanging himself, which resulted in him hitting his head on the toilet and dreaming up the flux capacitor (creating thirty years of even more hurt).
The Doc has always been disheartened by his, supposed, poor inventions, but the idea of the flux capacitor and Marty's appearance in the past both come as proof that Brown is in fact a genius, thus creating Doc B - a new timeline in which Brown becomes a better person, finds love, etc.
So Doc A, the suicidal/homicidal, broken genius gets his wish in death, albeit poorly timed. An interesting theory, but what still gets me is why would Doc Brown invent such an expensive and laborious piece of kit to kill himself? Out of sheer theatricality or Russian roulette?
What do you guys think?