Bob Gale describes how his comic book "Tales from the time Train" connects to the last movie: "Doc"s currently been come the future? We"ve got to present that."


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Twenty-seven years after Back to the Future part III to be released, it’s time come go earlier in time and also uncover a covert adventure the happened in between scenes the the last big-screen outing that Marty McFly and Doc Brown.

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Back to the Future: tales from the moment Train is a new comic book series from IDW Publishing, co-written by franchise screenwriter Bob Gale alongside man Barber, through art through Megan Levens. The answers a inquiry fans might have had around the final feature: just when did Doc, Clara and also their youngsters take the train right into the future, as teased in the final scene — and also what taken place when they got there?


The 1990 movie ends through Doc (Christopher Lloyd) and also his kids returning in a time-traveling train, only to fly off again. Prior to they go, Marty (Michael J. Fox) asks if Doc is going earlier to the future. The scientist responds, “Nope, already been there,” the line that would finish the film series.

Heat Vision speak to the authors of the collection about going ago (and forwards) gradually to continue the beloved series in comic book form.

IDW has actually been posting Back come the Future comics for a pair of year now, however this is the first time you’ve gotten about to addressing the dangling plot thread of Doc’s dialogue at the finish of Part III. To be the intention always to get to this point?

Gale: as soon as IDW stated to Universal, “We’re searching for the license to carry out Back to the Future,” the initial pitch to me was, “We will certainly do brand-new adventures v Marty’s kids and the following generation of Back come the Future,” and I claimed no, no. We looked into this as soon as we go the Back to the Future video game through Telltale ago in 2010, and also we identified that fans want to see Marty McFly and also Doc Brown and also the personalities they know and love from the movies. So, i said, “if we’re walk to perform this” — and also at the start, that was simply going to it is in a four-issue series — we’ve had human being write in for years with unanswered inquiries they had from the town hall the movies. For example, exactly how did Marty and also Doc Brown meet? Why go Doc Brown’s home burn down? These to be things, to me, the were good ideas to do stories about, points that fans want to understand about.

It was a method for us to stay true to the Back come the Future mythology — I certainly wasn’t going to allow the mythology to obtain screwed up in any means — and also the folks at IDW said, “That’s a an excellent idea. Let’s explore that.” By the time the third issue came out, castle said, “It’s marketing pretty well, we’re walking to expand it to five issues,” and also then a couple of main later, they said, “We’re walk to make it right into an ongoing series.” once they stated that, I obtained with man Barber, who’d been the head writer top top the very first four, and also we began kicking ideas approximately asking, exactly how do us explore brand-new adventures? that was as soon as IDW said, “We don’t desire to do small shorts, we’re walking to have actually longer arcs.” One thing caused another, and we came up v some exciting ideas. John carried a whole lot to the party — sometimes, he would certainly come up through an idea and I’d simply make certain the proverbial train continued to be on the tracks.


Barber: except for, they don’t have tracks.

Gale: <Laughs> Well, in Back to the Future No. 5, once we proved the an initial experiment with the moment Train, we definitely had tracks!

Barber: roughly the time that was determined to execute a larger story, i pitched this destructive idea. It to be a pair of pages, I sent out it off, and then the weekend came and also I thought, “Wow, that was a devastating idea.” <Laughs.> Bob called about a week later, and said, “I want to talk to you around this idea,” and I said, “It’s not an extremely good, is it?” He was like, “No, the wasn’t.” We acquired along pretty well from the point. I’d currently figured out at least part of what I’d obtained wrong by that point. I’d written what I believed everyone want to see, but it wasn’t what anyone want to see. We finished up doing 25 worries of the recurring series, once we’d obtained into the huge story, and also for the most part, they focused on Marty. Doc was definitely a component of them, yet he wasn’t the main character. And also we were talking about it v our editor, through IDW, and also the idea of doing a story about Doc, Clara, Jules and Verne — his whole family — that seemed like a an excellent starting suggest for a an excellent story. It picks up appropriate at the end of Back to the Future part III native Doc’s allude of watch —

Gale: — type of. We’re trying to make certain none the the fans call us the end for screwing up the continuous of it. At the finish of Back to the Future component III, when the Time Train flies away, Marty says, “Where friend going now, Doc, ago to the future?” Doc says, “Nope, currently been there.” I said to John, “Well, we’ve gotta pay the off. Doc’s already been to the future? We’ve acquired to present that.”

You had that heat in the movie — to be there always a story there, or was it just a joke?

Gale: It’s a joke! It’s just showmanship. In ~ the end of the very first movie, everyone said, “Oh my goodness. Surely friend knew you were going to carry out a sequel by putting that finishing in the movie.” No! We had actually no idea anyone would also go! The initial script had actually been rejected 40 times, for this reason we had actually no idea if anyone to be going to show up at the theater as soon as it opened. We simply thought, well, this is a really satisfying ending. All her heroes speak off into the proverbial sunset and also off to an additional adventure. But, as Bob Zemeckis frequently points out, if us really knew us were walk to execute Part II, us would never have had actually Jennifer get into the car. Due to the fact that when it concerns figuring the end what that movie would be, we said, “What around Jennifer? She’s not a an especially well-drawn character in the an initial movie, and also it’s not really about her.” Eventually, we involved the conclusion, all right, she’s walking to be unconscious for most of Part II. She’s play a much bigger component in the regular comic publication series, and also we go flesh her out together a complete character.


What is it prefer returning come this material, and also finding the you’d seeded the movies with these opportunities for brand-new stories? Is it amazing to come ago and re-approach it, or carry out you curse yourself for leaving these spaces the you feeling the have to pay off?

Gale: Both! <Laughs.> periodically we tear ours hair out and say, “I guess we gotta resolve that.” however there are other times where it’s great. Among my favorite facets is this one: In the an initial movie, Marty McFly goes come the pair Pines Mall, the earlier of Doc Brown’s truck opens up up, and also the DeLorean comes out. OK. It’s a good moment, and everyone remembers it, but think around it: We’d currently seen Marty walk to Doc’s lab. If Doc developed the DeLorean in that lab, Marty would already know what it was. But it doesn’t, so exactly how does that make sense?

The idea we come up with was, well, Doc has a second lab surprise away. And also that led us to a pair more plot aspects we can use — it to be something the nobody in 30 years because the movie had actually asked that question. And also believe me, I’ve been to enough Back to the Future events, and also been a guest speaker and done interviews, and also I believed I’d heard every Back to the Future question. Somehow, we stumbled top top this, and also Johns and I both said, “Oh, yeah. There’s got to be another lab. That’s so cool!”

John, girlfriend talked around the early stage idea and also that it to be what you thought people wanted come see. As soon as working ~ above properties prefer this, perform you need to silence your inner fan?

Barber: It’s a small of that, but one that the fun things about working with Bob is that Bob is so concentrated on the characters. That’s what makes the Back come the Future movies work. It’s not just being a fan, however the way I job-related — I’ll happily get into stories around the mechanics that time travel, and what the technological details would be and also how it would certainly work, yet that can’t be the focus. It has to be a consistent civilization this all takes ar in, yet the main thing is how does this affect the characters, what space they discovering …It is a time take trip movie, but it’s a Marty McFly, Doc Brown movie, you know? we can’t simply do a hole adventure wherein they fulfill Julius Caesar and adjust history, because it doesn’t matter, that doesn’t impact them. It’s not meaningful.

Gale: The other preeminence we had is that we don’t usage time travel to get out the a plot scrape. So if you’re up against the wall surface and disastrous stuff is happening, friend don’t unexpectedly go back in time and also prevent those points from happening. That’s sort of cheating. Once you open up yourself to that mechanic, climate the audience throws in the towel, going “Aw, they can do anything lock want, due to the fact that they’ve got a time machine. It’s only going come happen since the writers say it’s going to happen.” It’s no coming out of character.

Are girlfriend surprised that there’s not simply a hunger for brand-new Back come the Future, but additionally the an are to tell brand-new stories?


Gale: Yeah! <Laughs.

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> It’s amazing that there is, however the flipside is, what allows you to tell these stories is that the characters are well drawn. Anyone that’s a fan of a long-running TV series knows that — friend look at a present like Seinfeld. How many years walk that show run? It’s all about those characters. You simply say, “OK, Jerry discovered a shed dog. We have the right to do a whole episode around that.” The characters are for this reason well attracted that, whatever idea girlfriend come up with, you put them in certain situations and the plot facets write themselves. You think, “What would certainly Doc Brown execute here?” and also immediately, it’s like, well, here’s what Doc would certainly do, sure. <Laughs.>