Back to the Future Part III plot holes: Doc Brown should have REALLY known better

Today, September 2, is the day in 1885 that Marty McFly time travelled to in Back to the Future Part III. The teenager had become trapped in 1955 once again, when he saw 1985 Doc struck by lightning in the DeLorean. However, the scientist’s letter revealed he had been living in the Old West and Marty knew only Doc’s younger self could help him get back to the future.

After discovering the DeLorean buried in a mine, the duo also came upon 1985 Doc’s grave from September 7, 1885.

Marty knew he had to go back there to save the Doc and bring him home to 1985.

So, with a newly fixed DeLorean, 1955 Doc set the time circuits for September 2, 1885, the day after his older self wrote the letter.

This gave Marty a week to find the 1985 Doc in 1885 and bring him back to the future.

However, as fans know, upon arriving in the Old West, the DeLorean’s fuel tank was struck by an arrow from on-coming Native Americans.

Without a tank of gasoline, the time machine wouldn’t be able to hit the necessary 88mph to go back to the future.

And with Doc being shot on September 7, time was running out.

Of course, we know they hijacked a steam train to push the time machine up to that speed, but a plot hole has suggested that they could have easily recovered more gas without going to all this trouble.

Reddit user MrArcher13 pointed out that Doc and Marty could have taken a little petrol from the buried DeLorean without causing a paradox.

They wrote: “There were two DeLoreans in 1885 that Doc and Marty could have used to make one functional time machine and return to the future, after rescuing Miss Clara of course.”

A counter-point to this would argue that Doc wouldn’t want to risk the mine caving in and thus causing a paradox.

And it certainly would make for a pretty boring movie, hence why the story didn’t just solve the problem so simply.

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Meanwhile, another plot hole we spotted was that Doc would know he’d be shot before Marty broke the news to him in 1885.

After all, in the version of 1955 the teenager had just left, the younger version of Doc was documenting the uncovering of the DeLorean from the mine shaft and saw his future self’s tombstone from 1885.

He would have known for 30 years that Marty would time travel back to the Old West to save him from such a fate.

So for 1985 Doc to be shocked by the news in 1885 doesn’t make much sense.

After all, he is the older version of that very 1955 Doc from this newly created timeline at the beginning of Back to the Future Part III.

To be fair, this plot hole could be explained away if Doc was pretending he didn’t know to prevent a paradox.

Again, the scientist is very concerned throughout the Back to the Future trilogy with preserving the space-time continuum.

Although, he didn’t seem too bothered when he knew he’d be shot by the Libyan nationalists in the first movie and after he’d saved and fallen in love with Clara Clayton.

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