|"Marty McFly PFC"|
4 (17 in series)
Mary Jo Ludin
Verne hates taking dance lessons, and Doc offers to help him with some mechanical shoes. The nearly 50 year old machines fail after Doc sets the knob for cha-cha, and they can't be rebuilt. Doc recalls that the blueprints for the dancing shoes were lost in a fire when he was a young man. Using the "recollector projector", a machine that can project memories, Doc sees "1121 South Kelsey Street", where he lived in Apartment 3B, directly over a gasoline station (which burned down in 1945). Verne and Marty head back to September 27, 1944, break into the apartment and get the blueprints, but the DeLorean is seized by a civil defense warden (who refers to them as "slackers" and resembles Mr. Strickland).
In downtown Hill Valley, Marty and Verne spend the night in a victory garden that has been planted at Courthouse Square. There, Verne runs into his dance instructor, Dorothy, when she was a young girl, and Marty meets her sister Rosie. However, Rosie is also being sought by Sergeant Frank Tannen. Fleeing from Sergeant Tannen, Marty ducks into the Army recruiting station on the square and accidentally enlists for basic training, where his drill sergeant turns out to be Frank Tannen. Meanwhile Verne works on trying to get Marty out of the army, and succeeds in an early morning rescue. While Verne is with Dorothy and Rosie, Marty begins weeping in the Army and says "I want to go home!".
The next day, there is a USO show emceed by "Bob Dawson" (who resembles Bob Hope) and featuring "The Anderson Sisters" (who resemble the Andrews Sisters) and a dance contest. As Marty, now AWOL, is being chased by Tannen, Verne and Dorothy create a distraction by participating in the contest, and win a trophy for dancing the jitterbug. That night, Marty and Verne sneak past two guards at the gas station and take back the DeLorean, going back to the parallel future. Doc doesn't approve of Verne and Marty having gone back to 1944 to steal the blueprints, but notes that it's all right as long as they "didn't interact with anybody". Verne, who now realizes that he's actually a good dancer, has changed history only slightly, with his teacher now the owner of a trophy.
Behind the scenes
- Hill Valley had a streetcar line in 1944, with tracks running through town along Hill Street and Main Street. The buildings across from the courthouse, including Lou's Cafe, are not present.
- Dorothy, the dance instructor, refers to Verne, incorrectly, as "Vernon Brown"
- The episode introduces Sergeant Frank Tannen, who looks and sounds like Biff and who is just as obnoxious, suggesting that Frank is Biff's uncle (as well as Kid Tannen's brother and Gertrude Tannen's son). In issue #1 of Biff to the Future, it is revealed that Biff's uncle left him at some point before 1955. It is unclear what happened to Sgt. Tannen -- perhaps he died during the Second World War or the Korean War, or perhaps he was transferred away from Hill Valley.
- Doc was living in an apartment rather than the family mansion in 1944, so it's possible that one or both of his parents were still alive at that time. By 1955, he lived, alone, in the mansion.