What They Said: 'Back to the Future's Bob Gale on How Marty and Doc Became Friends

What They Said: 'Back to the Future's Bob Gale on How Marty and Doc Became Friends

Aug 17, 2011

It almost boggles the mind when you realize that it's been this long since the Back to the Future franchise first hit theaters and we still never knew how, exactly, a wild-eyed scientist and a dorky teenager became best buddies in the first place. Just another reason why the script for the original Back to the Future is so great is that we, as an audience, never really question Marty and Doc's relationship because we're so hooked on their time-traveling adventures. But when you step back from the franchise and take a closer look, you do sort of scratch your head wonder how these two oddballs met in the first place.

Speaking to Mental Floss, Back to the Future co-creator Bob Gale finally answered a question we've all had trapped in the back of our heads since the mid-80s. "Okay, from the horse's mouth (yes, I'm the horse--er, co-writer, co-creator): We never explained it in the movie. But the history of the characters that Bob Zemeckis and I created is this... For years, Marty was told that Doc Brown was dangerous, a crackpot, a lunatic. So, being a red-blooded American teenage boy, age 13 or 14, he decided to find out just why this guy was so dangerous. Marty snuck into Doc's lab, and was fascinated by all the cool stuff that was there. When Doc found him there, he was delighted to find that Marty thought he was cool and accepted him for what he was. Both of them were the black sheep in their respective environments. Doc gave Marty a part-time job to help with experiments, tend to the lab, tend to the dog, etc. And that's the origin of their relationship."

Yeah ... I guess it make sense, but as a hardcore fan of the franchise, I have to admit it's a tad lazy and uninspired. Definitely glad they never filmed this or included it in the film because it would've felt unnecessary. Are you satisfied with this backstory, or do you think there could've been a more inventive way to go about it?

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