Back to the Future is one of the best trilogies in film history. It has twists, great set pieces, an amazing story, an awesome time machine design, and phenomenal characters. Although one character in particular stands out, this is of course the genius Doc Brown. He is eccentric, brilliant, and possibly suicidal. Wait, what?!
Check the video above! Or if you want a more brief summary read on below.
First off Doc is a genius, even back in the 50s his experiments worked, even if he didn't realize it. Let's point out his mind reading helmet he wears to read Marty's thoughts.
He guesses the following three things about Marty.
"You have come here from a great distance!"
Which Marty has, through time.
"You want me to buy a subscription to the Saturday Evening Post?"
Marty of course doesn't, but what did Marty just read to confirm the date was 1955?
A Saturday Evening Newspaper
"Donation! You want me to make a donation, to the coast guard youth auxiliary?"
The Coast Guard thing is up for debate. He could have seen that people before have mistaken him prior as a "sailor", like Lorraine's mom and Biff's crony, or he could have inferred it himself. But donation? Wasn't Marty asked early in the film to make a donation to help save the clock tower. Hell he was even given a flyer.
So there, Doc's Machines do work, just not 100%
Now just imagine for the next 30 years you do not make anything that works, or at least believe you don't. Wouldn't you get desperate?
Hell even desperate enough to do this?
Stand in front a speeding car that is supposed to be going 88 mph right before it reaches you.
Not only that, when it does travel right through you leaving you unscathed. What would your reaction be? Would it be relief of not getting hit? Would it be smugness, knowing full well your machine worked, otherwise why else would you build such a dangerous rig pointing it to yourself. Or would it be this?
Complete and utter shock that your invention did work.
From that look alone, it seems like he had little faith in his experiment, and would rather die than fail again. So in the end this whole experiment was essentially time travel or bust.
For a more in depth look into the theory watch the video above.
Have fun, never looking at the Back to the Future series the same way again.