|Emmett "Doc" Brown|
|Back to the Future character|
Christopher Lloyd as Emmett Brown
|Portrayed by||Christopher Lloyd|
|Voiced by||Dan Castellaneta
James Arnold Taylor (Young Emmett Brown, Telltale Videogame)
|Appeared in||Part I
The Animated Series
The Simpsons Ride
|Years visited||1885-1888, 1955, 1985, 1985A, 2015|
Dr. Emmett Lathrop "Doc" Brown, Ph.D., is a fictional character in the Back to the Future trilogy. He is the inventor of the first time machine, which he builds out of a DeLorean sports car. The character is portrayed by Christopher Lloyd in all three films, as well as in the live action sequences of the animated series. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta in the animated series. The character's appearance and mannerisms are loosely inspired by Leopold Stokowski and Albert Einstein. In 2008, Dr. Emmett Brown was selected by Empire magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time, ranking at #76.
Character background 
Emmett refers to himself as "a student of all sciences" and is depicted as a passionate inventor. His homes in 1985 and 1955 are shown to contain various labour-saving gadgets, and he tests an intended mind-reading device on Marty, during the scene in Back to the Future when the latter visits him in 1955.
He appears to be heavily influenced by scientists of previous eras, naming successive pet dogs Copernicus and Einstein, and having portraits of Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein in his laboratory. He also states in Back to the Future Part III that his favorite author is Jules Verne, and reveals to Marty that his family name was originally von Braun, possibly an allusion to the real-life and contemporary rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.
Emmett is shown as absent-minded at times, and various statements by other characters inhabiting Hill Valley, the fictional setting of the series, indicate that he is regarded as strange, eccentric, or insane. He often enunciates his words with wide-eyed expressions and broad gestures—"Great Scott!" being one of the character's well-known catchphrases—and tends to be logorrheic in his delivery, referring in one case to a school dance as a "rhythmic ceremonial ritual".
No film in the trilogy shows Emmett having any friends besides Marty and Jennifer, Marty's girlfriend. The films do not depict how Doc and Marty originally met, however production notes and word from creators Bob Zemeckis and Bob Gale have stated that they met several years prior to the events of Back to the Future, when Marty sneaked into his lab after being warned by his parents to stay away from Doc. Happy to be revered as 'cool', Doc hired Marty as his part-time lab assistant.
Back to the Future alludes to Doc being involved with illegal and criminal enterprises—albeit as a means to obtain items for his inventions he could not purchase legally—but he shows naïve obliviousness to the consequences of his actions, excitedly telling Marty how he cheated Libyan terrorists out of stolen plutonium, saying "they wanted me to build them a bomb, so I took their plutonium and, in turn, gave them a shiny bomb casing full of used pinball machine parts!"
The character begins the trilogy somewhat innocent, and very enthusiastic about the possible applications of his time machine, initially actively trying to alter the past or future of the principal characters, in efforts to improve their lives. However, events throughout the story, particularly in Back to the Future Part II, lead him to conclude that time travel is too hazardous, and that the time machine should be destroyed. In Back to the Future Part III, after realizing he has unwittingly altered history by preventing the death of Clara Clayton in 1885, Doc expresses regret for inventing the time machine at all, remarking that it has "caused nothing but disaster."
However, after being left behind in 1885 when Marty departs in the DeLorean for 1985, Doc starts a family with Clara. He creates another time machine and builds it into a steam locomotive, which he uses to return to 1985 (to collect his dog, Einstein) after having traveled to an unspecified point further in the future; the locomotive is shown at the end of Back to the Future Part III with a "hover conversion" akin to that of the DeLorean. The trilogy ends with Doc and his family departing 1985 to an unspecified destination that is not in the future, from that present in 1985; it would seem that Doc stops back for Einstein on his way back to the past, after picking up technology of the future.
Events from Back to the Future series 
Back to the Future 
Early in Back to the Future Doc describes his inspiration for the flux capacitor (the essential component of time travel in the series) as a "vision" which comes to him in 1955, after he slipped off his toilet while standing on it to hang a clock and bumping his head on the sink. In relaying this story Doc states that it took his "entire family fortune" to realize this vision, the time machine he installed into a DeLorean DMC-12 sports car. He is shot by a group of Libyan terrorists early in Back to the Future, apparently in retaliation for stealing plutonium from them to fuel the time machine.
Marty, during his accidental excursion to 1955, repeatedly tries to inform Doc about the mortal risk he faces in 1985, but Doc refuses to accept any information about the future, saying Marty's good intentions could "backfire drastically." A later scene shows Marty secretly writing and leaving Doc a letter describing the latter's shooting in 1985. Doc discovers and tears up the letter just before successfully sending Marty back to 1985. Doc evidently later decides to use the information, as he is found by Marty, when the latter returns to 1985, to have worn a bulletproof vest on the night of the time machine test, which allows him to survive being shot. He subsequently produces Marty's warning letter, taped back together.
Back to the Future ends with Doc, having traveled alone 30 years into the future, picking up Marty and Jennifer in a now-flying DeLorean to take them "back to the future" because "something's got to be done about [their] kids."
Back to the Future Part II 
In Back to the Future Part II Doc states that Marty's son, Marty Jr, is to go to jail for committing a crime, an event which would end up destroying the McFly family. Doc has devised a plan for Marty to pose as Marty, Jr. (since the father-son resemblance was uncanny) and prevent him from agreeing to participate in the crime.
Although this is successful, Doc discovers that Marty has purchased a sports almanac to take back to 1985. Doc lectures Marty on the ethics of time travel, stating he did not create the time machine to win at gambling (although an early scene in Back to the Future depicts his wish to travel 25 years into the future, in the process finding out the next 25 winners of the World Series), and he throws away the almanac. After the scene in which the pair rescue Jennifer from the future McFly home, during which she encounters her future self (an event which Doc theorizes could "create a time paradox...and destroy the entire universe") and faints in shock, Doc appears to have become convinced that time travel is profoundly hazardous, and states that once they return to 1985 he will destroy the time machine.
However, the earlier scene between Doc and Marty regarding the sports almanac ended with a now-elderly Biff Tannen, who has overheard their earlier conversation. He recovers the almanac after their departure, follows them in a taxi, and steals the DeLorean during Doc and Marty's rescue of Jennifer. He subsequently goes back in time to 1955, giving the Almanac to his 1955 self.
Doc, Marty, and Jennifer return to a drastically altered 1985 in which Hill Valley has been subjugated by Biff, and other portions of world history have been perverted. A fictional newspaper article shows Richard Nixon is still in office, and the Vietnam War is still being fought. In a later scene, a horrified Doc produces a newspaper article describing his contemporary self being committed to an insane asylum.
After ascertaining from the contemporary Biff when "Old" Biff gave the former the almanac, Doc and Marty travel back to 1955 to retrieve and destroy it. Although the pair are eventually successful, the DeLorean is struck by lightning while being piloted by Doc, and disappears. The scene ends with a letter being delivered by Western Union to the now-stranded Marty, in which Doc reassures Marty he is alive and living in the year 1885.
Back to the Future Part II ends with Marty returning to the 1955 Doc—who has just sent Marty back to 1985 as depicted in Back to the Future—for help. The latter promptly faints in shock.
Back to the Future Part III 
Doc initially disbelieves Marty has actually returned, stating it would be impossible for Marty to know that Doc's future self is now in the past. He is eventually convinced by the letter Marty received at the end of Back to the Future Part II, which also describes where the disabled DeLorean is hidden, and instructs Marty not to rescue him and to return directly to 1985. However, the accidental discovery of the 1885 Doc's tombstone reveals that Doc was shot shortly after he wrote the letter, which convinces Marty that he must travel to 1885 to rescue him.
Marty locates Doc, although the DeLorean's fuel line is punctured during his arrival, rendering it unable to move under its own power. During a scene in which Doc and Marty are planning the use of a train locomotive to push the DeLorean to 88 mph, the pair observe a woman on a wagon being pulled by out-of-control horses. Doc saves the woman from the wagon before it falls into a ravine, and she introduces herself as Clara Clayton. In the scene after Doc and Marty take Clara to her house, during which it becomes apparent that the two are strongly attracted, Doc realizes that the ravine is called 'Clayton Ravine' in 1985, presumably because Clara originally fell into it and was killed. He gravely states that he may have "seriously altered history" by rescuing her, and wishes he had never invented the time machine.
Nonetheless, Doc and Clara begin a relationship, to the despair of Marty who considers it a distraction. The scene depicting their happy meeting at the Hill Valley Festival ends with an altercation between Doc and Buford Tannen in which Marty narrowly saves Doc from being shot. Doc later takes Clara home, and the pair share their mutual love for Jules Verne, and their first kiss.
In a later scene Doc states to Marty that he is in love with Clara, and will remain in 1885. Marty admonishes Doc about the effects of such actions on history, and the risk he still faces of being shot by Buford. Although Doc expresses a sentimental desire to follow his heart, Marty's appeal to Doc's scientific mind convinces the latter to return to 1985, and he returns to Clara's house to say goodbye. During this scene Clara insists Doc tell her why he is leaving, but reacts angrily to the truth and rejects him.
Doc repairs to the local saloon, where he spends the night nursing a glass of whiskey and lamenting his loss to others at the bar. Marty discovers him still there the next morning, still not having drank his whisky, and insists they proceed with their plan to return to 1985. Doc downs the whisky in an act of finality but immediately faints. Some time later, Marty and the bartender manage to revive Doc with a concoction called "wake-up juice", but Buford has arrived for a showdown with Marty and captures Doc.
While this is going on, the train the pair intend to use is departing with Clara on board, who is abandoning Hill Valley in grief. She overhears two men discussing a man's heartbreak and, after establishing they are talking about Emmett, stops the train and returns to Hill Valley. She discovers the train model Doc made in the process of planning the return to 1985, realizes he was telling the truth, and surmises their plan.
Meanwhile, Marty resolves his showdown with Buford without bloodshed, and he departs with Doc. After the two intercept and hijack the locomotive, Clara reappears, having caught up with the train on horseback. Doc quickly decides to take her back to 1985 with them, although it entails a dangerous traverse for her along the boiler tank of the speeding locomotive. Clara slips and falls while trying to reach Doc. Although he is able to rescue her, they are too late to get back to the DeLorean, which departs to 1985 with Marty. In the next scene Marty narrowly escapes from a head-on collision with a diesel locomotive, which destroys the DeLorean.
Later, Marty surveys the remains with Jennifer, sadly observing how much he will miss Doc, who can now never return. The pair are surprised by Doc's reappearance in a time machine built into a steam locomotive, having returned to pick up his dog, Einstein. He is now married to Clara (they marry on December 15, 1885 according to the animated series episode, "Solar Sailors") and they happily introduce their two sons, Jules and Verne. In a parting speech, Doc optimistically tells Marty and Jennifer that their future "hasn't been written yet," and that they should "make it a good one." Back to the Future III ends with the train taking off, and the Brown family departing for times unknown.
Back to the Future: The Ride 
Although Back to the Future: The Ride is not taken as canon by some, it reveals that the Brown family eventually moved back to the 20th century and that by 1991, Doc had set up the Institute of Future Technology. He modified a time-traveling DeLorean to seat eight, which is used when Biff steals the time machine again and the audience, in their own time-traveling DeLorean, help Doc chase Biff through time. The ride was featured at Universal Studios in Hollywood, Florida and Japan. The Florida and Hollywood versions closed in March and September 2007 respectively and were both replaced with The Simpsons Ride, which opened in May 2008.
Back to the Future: The Animated Series 
This series starts in 1991 after the events from Back to the Future Part III and the Ride, where Doc, Clara, Jules and Verne now live in a farmhouse outside Hill Valley with Einstein. The family, along with Marty, have traveled through time in both the train time machine and a rebuilt and improved DeLorean (which looks the same externally as before it was rebuilt, but is drastically different inside).
The Simpsons Ride 
In The Simpsons Ride, in a tribute to the ride it replaced, Back to the Future: The Ride, Emmett Brown has a brief cameo voiced over by Christopher Lloyd. In the animated series of Back to the Future, Brown was voiced by Dan Castellaneta, also the voice of the Simpson family patriarch Homer Simpson.
In the cameo, Professor Frink, Doc's colleague as it is revealed in the ride, is shocked to discover that Doc's Institute has been turned into Krustyland, a theme park built by Krusty the Clown. He takes a DeLorean time machine back in time to save the institute, where two years earlier, Doc is about to sign a contract with a banker, named Mr. Freidman, to save the Institute. However, as Doc is about to sign, Frink drives the DeLorean into the banker. Doc is upset with Frink, and complains that he has to sell his Institute to "that mercenary clown", who happens to be Krusty. Krusty then appears and puts a Krustyland sign in front of the Institute, and Frink complains that he created a time paradox. Doc asks Krusty if there's anything he can do for him, to which Krusty responds he can sell tickets at the front gate if he "gets a haircut". Doc says it takes him three hours a day "Just to get it like this!". It is then presumed that the Institute of Future Technology became Krustyland.
Back to the Future: The Game 
Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Dr. Brown in Telltale Games' Back to the Future: The Game. As of July 2011, five episodes have been released. Set 6 months after the end of Part III, Marty is missing Doc as the bank sells his belongings. Suddenly, the DeLorean arrives and Marty finds he is imprisoned in 1931, destined to be gunned down by a mob. By collaborating with a younger Emmett Brown, (voiced by James Arnold Taylor), Marty is able to rescue Doc, as well as ensure the safety of his grandfather, Arthur McFly.
However, their meddling inadvertently changes the future of Young Emmett, and Marty winds up in an alternate 1986 ruled over by Doc, who is now Hill Valley's First Citizen. Marty is able to convince Doc to go back to 1931 and try to fix the timeline, but in 1931 Doc changes his mind and attempts to stop Marty from fixing it. The original timeline was restored, however, and he was erased from existence, but later events cause the entire city of Hill Valley to be erased, back in 1876. Marty and Doc fix the timeline once more, but upon returning to 1986 three alternate versions of Marty appear.
In other media 
Doc is a playable character in the first level of the video game of Back to the Future Part III. In the game, he must ride his horse to prevent Clara Clayton from falling into the ravine, using a pistol to fend off enemies.
Christopher Lloyd played Emmett Brown on The Earth Day Special during 1990. In the special, Doc gathers information on the environment to present to the doctors (including Doogie Howser as played by Neil Patrick Harris) in order to help an ailing Mother Nature (played by Bette Midler).
In 2011 American Singer Britney Spears joked that Dr. Emmett Brown was her favorite scientist for "I Am FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll".
Doc Brown has made several non-canon appearances. Lloyd first reprised the role for the 1985 Huey Lewis & The News "The Power of Love" video. In the mid-2000s, Lloyd reprised the role of Brown in commercials for satellite giant DirecTV, in newly-filmed footage interspersed with clips from the first Back to the Future film. In one variation of the commercials, Lloyd runs down the fiery trail left by the Delorean in a scene taken directly from the film, while in a newly-recorded voiceover Lloyd hails the service as being "TV from outer space!" In 2011 Lloyd appears as Brown in commercials for the Argentine Electronics Store Garbarino and for Nike.
In September of that year, Lloyd reprised the role for an eBay charity auction promotion. Nike had produced 1500 reproductions of the futuristic trainers Doc gave Marty McFly in 2015 (Back to the Future Part II), with all net proceeds from the auction going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for research into Parkinson's disease.
Back to the Future Part III footage of Lloyd was incorporated into the 1990 ZZ Top "Doubleback" video.
In 2012, YouTube series Epic Rap Battles of History episode 24, titled "Doc Brown vs. Doctor Who", features Doc Brown (portrayed by MC Mr Napkins) rapping against the Tenth and Fourth incarnations of the titular Doctor (portrayed by Nice Peter and George Watsky) from the science fiction TV series Doctor Who.
- Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale Q&A, Back to the Future [2002 DVD], recorded at the University of Southern California
- "Empire's The 100 Greatest Movie Characters". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- mental_floss comment by Bob Gale
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Emmett Brown|
- Emmett Brown at the Internet Movie Database
- Emmett Brown at Futurepedia, the Back to the Future Wiki