As creator of the DeLorean time machine, Emmett Brown has a unique perspective of time as he time travels. Furthermore, he has the perspective of events that occurred involving the time machine even before he invented it, such as in the case of Marty McFly using it to reach 1955.

Original Timeline (Doc dies in 1985)[]

November 5 to November 12, 1955: While standing on his toilet attempting to hang a clock in the bathroom, Doc slips and hits the right side of his forehead on the sink. When he comes to, he has "a picture in his head" and makes a drawing of what he will call a flux capacitor. That evening, he tests his brain-wave analyzer on Copernicus.

He would work on the DeLorean for thirty years until the night he demonstrated its capabilities. This is the first time that Marty sees the time machine for himself.


What did I tell you?!?

Day One: October 26, 1985 1:15 a.m Doc preps the time machine inside his van before Marty arrives. He gets into the DeLorean and waits for Marty to reach the Twin Pines Mall parking lot. Upon hearing him outside, Doc triggers the rear gate to open on the van and he backs up the DeLorean. After the test, he refuels the DeLorean with plutonium and talks about seeing the future, but the Libyan terrorists reach Twin Pines Mall and shoot him dead. In this timeline, Doc is dead, so from his original perspective, he would never recover. However, Marty escapes, going back nearly thirty years to the date that Doc "invented time travel". In demonstrating the inputting of a date, Doc had set the controls to November 5, 1955, a time when Emmett Brown's murder was in the distant future.

Alternate timeline (Doc dies in 1885)[]

November 5 to November 16, 1955: While standing on his toilet attempting to hang a clock in his bathroom, Doc slips and hits the right side of his forehead on the sink. When he comes to, he has "a picture in his head" and makes a drawing of what he will call a flux capacitor. That evening, while testing his brain-wave analyzer on Copernicus, a teenager knocks on his door and claims to have arrived from the future year of 1985 "in a time machine that you invented". Doc thinks it's a mean practical joke, until "Futureboy" describes both the accident and the flux capacitor. Doc drives them out to the site where the Lyon Estates is scheduled to be built, and finds the time machine itself, built into a futuristic car. When he shows Marty the flux capacitor drawing, Marty flips a switch and shows him the working flux capacitor. It's a moment of vindication for the frustrated inventor, who exclaims "I finally invent something that works!" The goal now is to fix the machine so that Marty can get back home.

After figuring a way to harness the power of a lightning strike into the flux capacitor, Doc spends the evening of November 12 rigging up wires and cables to a lightning rod and the lampposts on the street, and speaks with Marty, a policeman, and a stranger whose face he does not see, who hands him a ¾ inch wrench. Doc's work is successful, and he sends Marty back to the future at 10:04 pm on November 12. Moments later, he is shocked to see Marty return, wearing different clothes, and he faints. On the morning of November 13, Doc wakes up in his mansion believing that the temporal dispersal had manipulated his brainwaves, resulting in amnesia. However, upon seeing Marty, Doc is scared white and argues the notion that Marty has returned from where he had just sent him. Marty reveals a letter from Doc's future self that gives directions to the Delgado Mine, where the time machine has been buried since 1885. Using the repair instructions he finds in the car, Doc repairs the time machine with the best electrical equipment available in 1955. On November 16, 1955, Doc sends Marty off in the time machine at the Pohatchee Drive-In, this time on route to 1885, and does not see Marty again for more than a quarter of a century. During this time, he works on creating the time machine, and obtains plutonium to power it in October 1985 from a group of Libyan terrorists. Through the natural course of time, Doc finds himself at a different situation on Day One of his journey.

Day One: October 26, 1985 1:15 a.m Doc preps the time machine inside his van before Marty arrives. He gets into the DeLorean and waits for Marty to reach the Twin Pines Mall parking lot. Upon hearing him outside, Doc triggers the rear gate to open on the van and he backs up the DeLorean. After the test, he refuels the DeLorean with plutonium and talks about seeing the future, but the Libyan terrorists reach Lone Pine Mall... only this time, with a forewarning of what will happen, from a letter that Marty had written, Doc wears a bulletproof vest, survives the terrorists' vengeance, and witnesses Marty's departure to 1955, and the return of a slightly older Marty from 1955. After nearly thirty years of waiting, Doc finally gets to travel through time. Bringing his dog, Einstein, with him, Doc sets a date for thirty years into the future, and ventures to the year 2015 sometime later in the early morning hours of October 26. Marty's parting words were "Look me up when you get there," and Doc promised that he would do so.

Doc floors the DeLorean to 88 m.p.h. in the street in front of Marty's house and enters August 8, 2015. After looking up Marty and his future family, he discovers the grim news about Marty and Jennifer's two children Marty Jr. and Marlene. Doc traces the events back to October 21 before returning to 1985 to pick up Marty.

October 21 to October 26, 2015 (or, perhaps, October 26, 2015 and then October 21, 2015, with additional days before or after): Before returning to 1985, however, Doc spends an indeterminate amount of time in 2015. He goes to a rejuvenation clinic and gets an all-natural overhaul. Doc tells Marty later that the physicians "took out some wrinkles, did a hair repair, changed the blood", adding "a good thirty or forty years" to his life, and that "They also replaced my spleen and colon." In addition, Doc upgrades the time machine with a hover conversion, and learns how to drive the DeLorean safely. Doc replaces the plutonium powered reactor with a Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor to power the time circuits. Doc apparently travels to a period before October 21 to do some of his work, because he arranges to place Einstein in a suspended animation kennel, to be picked up that afternoon. Regardless of whether he's spent a few days, or months, in the future, Doc returns to 1985 later in the morning of October 26, roughly nine hours later than when he departed.


Marty, you've got to come back with me!

October 26, 1985 to October 21, 2015, to October 27, 1985A: What might be "month two" for Dr. Brown begins when he embarks on a mission to return to 1985. Over the next 24 hours of his life, Doc will spend time in 1985, 2015, 1985A, and 1955 before ending up in 1885. Perhaps with the foreknowledge that Marty is destined to be injured in a wreck on the morning of October 27, Doc calculates an arrival time of October 26, Marty's last full day before the life-altering event. He arrives sometime after 10:28 a.m. that morning, betting that Marty will be rested and still at home. What Doc hadn't anticipated was that Jennifer Parker would also be at the house when he arrived. Doc hops out in his 2015 clothing, demonstrates the Mr. Fusion reactor that will someday be invented, and tells Marty that he needs to come with him "back to the future", until Marty points out to him that Jennifer is there as well. Doc makes the decision to bring her along, since she has information not only about future technology, but also about the fact that she and Marty will have kids, about whom something "needs to be done". The three get in the car and Doc lifts the hovering vehicle aloft and departs for the future, without considering that there will be other witnesses — including Biff Tannen.

Doc's initial plan was to put Marty Jr. to sleep using a sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator before a fateful meeting with Griff Tannen, and have Marty himself pose as his future son long enough to "just say no" to participating in a robbery. In the meantime, he would pick up Einstein from the kennel and then Marty after the exchange was made. The presence of Jennifer complicates his plan however. What was intended to take only a few minutes ends up instead as a stay of several hours in 2015. Doc realizes that by putting Jennifer to sleep, he did not have enough power to keep Marty Jr. unconscious. However, Marty changed history in a different way, by having Griff and his gang arrested, which is satisfactory enough for his mission. Unfortunately, Jennifer is discovered by the Hill Valley Police and flown to her future home in Hilldale. Even worse, Doc has to trust Marty to guard the DeLorean time machine rather than letting Marty see his future home. During those few minutes away, the vehicle is stolen by old Biff, although the effects don't become obvious until Doc, Marty, Jennifer and Einstein arrive in 1985A. Doc is horrified to find that his laboratory has been trashed. Breaking into the boarded-up public library, he learns the course of history in the altered timeline, and that his alternate self has been in an asylum for two years. Upon visiting his other self to try and make sense of the situation, Doc finds that he was lobotomized and can no longer communicate. Doc eventually concludes that Biff had been given a sports almanac at some point prior to 1958, causing a serious disruption in the space-time continuum. Doc takes Marty to the roof of Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise Casino & Hotel, and Marty learns the exact date that the alteration began. As soon as Marty's reconnaissance mission reveals the date, Doc wastes no further time in leaving 1985A, and he and Marty go to 1955.

Jennifers house 1985a


In this alternate 1985, there is a counterpart to Doc Brown who was hospitalized in 1983 and eventually lobotomized, whose existence and fate is known to Doc after he arrives there in the time machine. In both timelines, Doc Brown had been the only person who was aware of time travel after 1955. Doc in the alternate timeline witnessed Biff Tannen's winning streak that defied the laws of probability, and was alone in the knowledge that a time traveler could visit from the future. Biff had been warned by his older self to expect a confrontation from a wild-eyed man "claiming to be a scientist", and this awareness, coupled with the fact that Doc began helping the Hill Valley Civic Committee, is likely why he had Doc hospitalized.

November 12, 1955 (2nd time): After Doc arrives from 1985A to 1955, he stays at the construction site for Lyon Estates while Marty goes into town, and spends time repairing the defect in the time circuits. When Marty gets locked in Biff's garage, Doc (who can't risk driving or flying the DeLorean in broad daylight) makes his way to town, purchases a bicycle, and arrives after dark at Biff's house, only to find that Marty is gone. Staying in communication with Marty by walkie-talkie, Doc walks into downtown and inadvertently runs into his younger self. As his younger self requests a wrench, he hands it to him without showing his face and creating a paradox.

Doc then pedals the two miles back to Lyon Estates and retrieves the DeLorean. During this time, Doc has to talk Marty through the various situations that Marty has gotten himself into while trying to retrieve the almanac. Doc waits until Marty reports success in retrieving the almanac and in preventing another paradox (involving Biff's gang attempting to mug the other Marty), before taking off from Lyon Estates. In his haste, Doc accidentally collides with the billboard's pennants, which get tangled up with the DeLorean, which turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Doc quickly flies to Hill Valley High with plans to go home and begins to untangle the pennants caught on the vehicle. Unfortunately, Marty greets him with the announcement that he "blew it" and that Biff has taken the almanac back. Doc follows Biff along River Road towards the tunnel and allows Marty to hoverboard towards Biff's car. Doc pulls away and lifts up above Biff's rear view. Upon seeing Marty head into the tunnel, but not come out the other side, he surmises Marty would somehow return to the entry point. Upon seeing Marty near the tunnel entrance, Doc drops the pennants which he had run into above the entrance, allowing Marty to escape Biff. Doc and Marty fly back to Lyon Estates and he tells Marty to destroy the almanac. Upon Marty setting fire to the almanac using a matchbook taken from the Pleasure Paradise in 1985A, Doc reads the newspaper of his commitment and sees as it changes to him receiving a medal in 1985. Doc begins to celebrate, however the lightning storm prevents him from landing the DeLorean. Within seconds, the DeLorean is struck by lightning in midair and vanishes into a figure 8 fire trail. Ironically, Doc is stranded in the past by the same lightning storm that kept Marty from being stranded in 1955.

January 1 to September 1, 1885: Emmett Brown survives the lightning strike, but finds himself stranded in the year 1885. After using his mechanical skills to assume the role of a blacksmith, he settles in Hill Valley and works on the problem of trying to repair the DeLorean's time circuits so that he can rescue Marty from 1955. On July 4, he attempts to drink a shot of whiskey, but is knocked out cold from the effects. He recovers with the help of the bartender Chester, and decides to not drink it again. After more than seven months, Doc concludes that the time circuits cannot be repaired, and that suitable replacement parts — particularly transistors — will not be invented for another sixty-two years. Doc abandons his own plans for further time travel, and shifts his focus to the problem of how to help Marty get home. During the month of August, Doc completes his scheme, which involves (a) hiding the DeLorean in an abandoned mine; (b) drawing up a detailed letter, along with a schematic diagram and repair instructions (placed in the car itself) that 1955 Doc will understand so that the time machine can be repaired; and (c) instructing the Western Union company to hold a letter for seventy years, and then to follow detailed instructions to deliver the package to a specific person at a specific time and a specific place (Marty McFly at the Lyon Estates development shortly before 10:00 pm on November 12, 1955).

Satisfied that Marty will receive the letter, Doc then looks forward to spending the rest of his life working as a blacksmith in the Old West. Unfortunately, he has made the mistake of shoeing a horse for a man named Buford Tannen.

September 2 to September 7, 1885: After sending the letter, Doc encounters Buford, who is infuriated for having his horse throw a shoe. Buford announces that he lost a bottle of Kentucky Redeye and shot the horse, equating to eighty dollars that he should be reimbursed. Doc refuses and Buford warns him that he would get a bullet in his back the next time they met.

On September 3, Doc is visited by Hubert, who lets him know that the new schoolteacher is arriving in town by train and that her name is Clara Clayton.

On September 4, Doc picks up Clara from the train station and they fall in love at first sight. Doc takes her to her new house and they part ways for the day. By Doc intervening, Clara does not fall into Shonash Ravine.

On September 5, the Hill Valley Festival is held in the evening to raise funds for the continued construction of the Hill County Courthouse. At the Festival, Doc has his photograph taken in front of the clock intended for the Hill County Courthouse. Later, Doc and Clara find each other and dance, however Buford finds him in the crowd and shoots him with his derringer. Doc slowly bleeds for two days, until he dies on Monday, September 7. Clara erects a tombstone in his memory and never marries Doc.

Third Timeline (Doc survives)[]

September 2 to September 7, 1885: On the morning of September 3, Doc hears some commotion outside his stable and sees that it is Marty being hanged from the courthouse. Doc loads his sniper rifle and shoots the rope hanging Marty. Doc and Buford have the discussion over the horse and whiskey and Buford warns Doc to watch his back. That afternoon, Doc and Marty discuss the matter of his impending death, and Hubert arrives to tell Doc about Clara: hearing this, and having learned of his apparent relationship with her from Marty, Doc decides not to pick her up at the train station the following day. After realizing the fuel line on the DeLorean is ripped, Doc and Marty frantically try to find a solution to reaching temporal displacement. Sometime between Thursday and Friday, Doc and Marty pull the car from the bear cave with horses.

On Friday, September 4, Doc adds whiskey to the engine, which blows out the fuel intake manifold. Not having a month to rebuild it, Doc is nearly out of options, until he hears a train in the distance, arriving with Clara. However, per his previous decision, he does not pick her up. Instead, he and Marty question the Friday train engineer about how fast the train could go and then look at the map for possible track to use. Doc identifies Carson Spur as the site of their experiment and both Doc and Marty travel to Shonash Ravine to investigate. Upon seeing the ravine, they hear a lady screaming. Doc rushes to the wagon before it crashes off the side of the ravine and saves whom he believes is a random lady. He falls in love at first sight. To his amazement, the lady's name is Clara Clayton, the one he was to pick up at the train station. Doc and Marty take Clara to her new house and part ways for the day. By Doc also intervening in this timeline, Clara again does not fall into the ravine.

On the night of the festival, Saturday, September 5, Doc and Marty decide to have their photograph taken in front of the Hill County Courthouse clock. Doc finds Clara and dances, up until Buford Tannen shows up with a derringer set to Doc's back. Doc, armed with the knowledge of his possible death, makes sure his front is facing toward Tannen. Tannen prepares to shoot Doc when Marty intervenes with a frisbee plate throw. Now as a result of interfering in Tannen's single shot, Marty becomes Tannen's new target, and they discuss a duel in front of the Palace Saloon. Doc warns Marty that this will jeopardize their plans on Monday morning to catch the train, and nearly slips up by calling him "Marty", before correcting himself to "Clint". Doc takes Clara home and they both watch the stars through the telescope that he repaired for her. Doc and Clara discuss their love for Jules Verne and Doc almost reveals an inconsistency in the release of the novels. They kiss.

Sunday morning, September 6, Doc is feeling joyful and spry, enjoying his new flower that Clara had given to him. Upon looking at the photograph of the tombstone, they notice that the name has been erased, and Doc theorizes that history has been altered, with "Clint"'s name showing up on the tombstone. They continue to advance their plan for escape to 1985 by rolling the DeLorean onto Carson Spur, but Doc reveals that he is not leaving 1885. Marty talks him out of it, and he agrees to tell Clara the truth. This, however, is not without problem, as she slaps him in the face and tells him to leave her alone. Destroyed, he leaves the flower on her windowsill and heads for the Palace Saloon to drink. There he talks about the future with the saloon patrons while holding onto a shot of whiskey.

By 7:50 am, Monday morning, September 7, Doc is still talking to the patrons and still holding his shot of whiskey, when Marty runs up to him and tells him he has to come back with him to the future. Doc comes to and agrees that they have to get going, but as one of the old timers salutes him, he drinks to the future, and collapses onto a table. For the next 10 minutes, Doc is out cold, save for a reflex action caused by some wake-up juice Chester and Joey mixed up. Around 8:01 am, Doc wakes up and escapes with Marty through a back door, but is shot at by Buford's gang. Doc has now become Buford's hostage and is about to be killed when a man emerges from the buildings in something that Clint Eastwood would wear. The man turned out to be Marty and was seemingly shot dead by Buford, but to his amazement, the figure reanimated and kicked the gun out of Buford's hand. Doc watched as Buford crushed his hand on Marty's chestplate and was knocked unconscious into a load of manure. Doc overhears the train whistle and proceeds to leave on horseback for Coyote Pass in order to catch up with the train.

Doc and Marty chase down Locomotive 131 before it reaches Carson Spur and hold up the Monday train engineer, but claims it is a "science experiment". Marty gets out to throw the switch, and Doc cruises the locomotive ahead towards Shonash Ravine. Doc pulls the whistle, saying that "I've wanted to do that all my life". He drives the train up to the DeLorean and affixes the DeLorean's whitewall tires to the front of the cow catcher. After instructing Marty, he returns to the cab and starts up the locomotive. Upon reaching 35 m.p.h., Doc throws in the presto logs and makes his way to the DeLorean. As he climbs out of the cab and towards the front of the engine, he hears a faint noise in the background, but shrugs it off. Only upon hearing the train's whistle does he realize someone else is in the cab. Doc looks back to find Clara, to both his amazement and shock and realizes that they have to take her with them, before the train crashes into the ravine. He calls out to her and reaches but the second log blows, sending Clara dangling precariously above the tracks. Doc holds on past the red log and sees Marty holding out the hoverboard he acquired in 2015. Doc catches it with his feet and saves Clara just as her dress rips free. Doc carries Clara away from the tracks and they both watch as the DeLorean explodes in a flash of light and fire, and as the locomotive crashes into the ravine below. Doc and Clara presumably make their way back to town on the hoverboard and begin their life together.

September 8, 1885 to June 10, 1893: Doc and Clara get married and have two sons, whom they name after Jules Verne, Jules and Verne. Doc decides he can no longer avoid time travel and constructs a new vehicle from a train that runs on steam instead of gasoline. Upon finalizing its design and construction in 1893, the first test is a failure and Doc begins to make a smaller, temporary time machine out of a steam tricycle. He also includes a small balloon and parachute that will allow him to free-fall to 88 miles per hour in the likely event that the steam time car itself did not survive the trip to 2015.

2035 (alone):

Doc arrives in the future, and hides the steam time car, which survived the trip. He soon realizes that this is in fact not 2015, but 2035. In his old lab, he finds a letter from Marty, dated March 3, 1986. It says that he never returned to 1893 after leaving for the future, but Doc, deciding that he is in no danger, ignores this and goes to the bank to withdraw money that he can use to buy upgraded parts for the Jules Verne Train. However, the bank DNA scans determine that his genetic age does not match that of the him that opened the account, as the 65 year-old Doc should be 85 in 2035 whether he has received a rejuvenation or not. Running away from the police, Doc is zapped by a device that is designed to disable head implants. As he does not have them, it scrambles his mind instead. Doc gets back into the time machine and sets it for the date he remembers from the letter: March 3, 1986.

March 3, 1986 to March 4, 1986:

Still unsure of his surroundings, Doc crashes into a STOP sign, and leaves the steam time car there while he returns to his secret lab. He sets off a trap when he enters, alerting a surprised Marty and Jennifer, who have been investigating his 'disappearance' after receiving a letter from Clara. They realize that he cannot recall his identity, and help him to retrieve the steam time car from a junkyard that it had been towed to in his absence. Having read the last time departed readout, Marty decides to return to 2035 with Doc, to find out what had caused him to lose his memory. They use the time parachute to go to September 16 2035.

September 16, 2035 (with Marty and later Jennifer):

Doc and Marty decide to rest at Bistro Twenty/15, as it provides at least some degree of familiarity compared to the otherwise alien era. Unfortunately, the police officer Griff Tannen is also present at the bistro, and recognizes Doc as the criminal he chased earlier. Doc and Marty quickly return to Doc's secret lab, where Doc fully recovers his memory and attempts to find a way to escape 2035. Marty notes a machine in the center of the room, which has been humming and charging ever since he activated it in 1986. Doc realizes that this was the Temporal Field Generator Mk II, which allows one occupant to return to any hour between its activation and the present. Having no choice but to leave Marty behind, Doc travels to 2015, where he collects supplies for converting the half-finished DeLorean time machine at his lab in 1986 into a working one. He then travels once again to 1986, arriving at the mall as Jennifer witnesses his previous self and Marty depart via time parachute. He manages to finish the new DeLorean within a few hours, and returns to 2035 with Jennifer.

They arrive back at the secret lab in time to stop Marty from being arrested by Commisioner Wilson. With Jennifer at the wheel, the three of them escape Griff, and finally time travel back home to 1986.

March 4, 1986 (second time):

Doc drops Marty and Jennifer off at the McFly residence. He gives Marty a bag of canisters, telling him to leave a note in one of them in his secret lab if he ever needs help. He then departs for August 14, 1893.

August 14, 1893 to the date of the train's completion:

Clara, Jules and Verne are happy to see him safe. He informs them that he only arrived a day late because wanted to make sure that Clara would write the letter that got Marty's attention about his disappearance. He has brought Einstein with him, who happily jumps on Clara, as Doc hugs his sons.

Doc spends the next month or so upgrading the train with hover capability, as well as allowing it to time travel before derailing. Once it is complete, he and his family travel to October 27, 1985.

October 27, 1985: Doc returns with the family to the very spot that Marty would have ended up after being pushed back to the future by the train in 1885. Somehow Doc knew to time the arrival of the train with Marty and Jennifer being on the tracks at the death site of the DeLorean. Doc and family arrived in a flash of light and welcomed himself, Clara, and the kids to Marty and Jennifer. Doc handed Marty a "souvenir" photo of both Marty and him at the Hill Valley Festival in 1885. Jennifer asked Doc about the erasure of text on a document from the family, and he stated that their future hasn't been written yet; no one's has; their future is whatever they make it, so make it a good one. Doc announces that they stand back for his next trip. Marty asks him if he's going back to the future, but Doc declares "Nope, already been there" and smiles. Doc pilots the train into the sky and reaches temporal displacement for who knows when.