Back to the Future Part II

Question: When Doc and Marty go back to 1985, after going to 2015, they land and find out that it's an alternate 1985 wherein Biff is in charge. Someone said in a question that when they returned, shouldn't they have seen Biff's casino as they fly over Hill Valley - is them not seeing the casino there to mislead the audience into thinking nothing has changed or is it a mistake?

Heather Benton

Chosen answer: Most likely this was deliberately done this way so the audience would not immediately know that the timeline had changed. It serves the plot better to have it revealed later.


Question: Where are Dave and Linda McFly in the alternate 1985? They don't seem to live with Biff and Lorraine, and they are too old to be packed off to boarding school (like Marty), so where exactly are they? Biff mentions them when threatening Lorraine into staying so its not like they've been rubbed out like George was.

Answer: If you have the Blu-ray or DVD, watch the movie using either trivia track or watch the deleted scene where Marty meets his brother Dave and turn the commentary on. Dave is a homeless drunk and Bob Gale states that Linda ended up becoming a hooker. However, since Wendie Jo Sperber was pregnant at the time and couldn't appear in this film, it was decided to cut both of them out.

Answer: It's never stated in the film where they are. Biff makes a reference to having Dave's probation revoked if Lorraine leaves him, so Dave has apparently run into trouble with the law. He does appear in a deleted scene, where he has become an alcoholic and appears to be homeless with little contact with his family, likely because of his dislike of Biff, as he appears pleased to see Marty. No scenes with Linda were filmed, as Wendy Jo Sperber was pregnant at the time of filming, although scriptwriter and producer Bob Gale has stated that, had they included Linda in the alternate 1985 scenes, she would likely have become a prostitute, which would tie into Biff's threat to have her thrown in jail.


Question: Why does the storm end immediately after the clock tower is struck by lightning? This happens again in part 2 when the DeLorean gets struck by lightning. All of a sudden, the wind and lightning is gone.

Answer: It actually starts raining really hard in both scenes. The rain clouds followed the thunder clouds.

Answer: It could probably be classified as a freak storm that quickly passed over. Mostly, it's a contrived plot device for the movie and doesn't reflect reality but serves the purpose of telling the story.


Question: We see Biff groan in pain as he returns to 2015 with the stolen DeLorean. In a deleted scene we actually see Biff fade away as he is erased from existence by his actions. I assume this is because an alternate Biff now exists (or could have been killed) and so he is erased from time. If this happens to Biff, why doesn't this happen to Marty, Doc, and Jennifer? They too are replaced by alternate versions of themselves when they return and even before they return to 1985a. 1985a Biff even says in the film that Marty was in school in Switzerland, and Doc has been committed, so they too should fade away as Biff did, shouldn't they? I would say "time" was giving them time enough to correct things like in the 1st movie, but Biff faded away almost a soon as he arrived back in 2015a.

Carl Missouri

Answer: I read somewhere the reason Biff faded away was Lorraine shot him in the alternate timeline for murdering her husband, George.

I hadn't heard that one, could be in a novelization or something. This is entirely my own speculation with nothing official to support it; however, it could be that because Doc and Marty are trying to correct the timeline, he and his siblings' removal from history happens gradually, as they get closer or further from the act of their trying to set things right. Biff doesn't know or care and is actively trying to change history, so the moment he returns to 2015, he vanishes all at once.

Captain Defenestrator

If you have the DVD or Blu-ray, watch the deleted scene of Biff vanishing and turn on the commentary. It will confirm that Biff was murdered, which is why he was erased from existence.

Chosen answer: Biff faded away because he completely changed his own past. When Marty, Doc, and Jennifer return to 1985, they're returning to the alternate timeline that Biff created. They still exist and remember their own history because without it, Biff's timeline couldn't exist and a paradox would be created.

Captain Defenestrator

Answer: The comics answer this question. In 1986 in the alternate timeline, Biff forced the committed Doc Brown to send him forward in time to get more sports results, but Doc tricked him and sent him back to 1884 instead, where he was shot by his own great-grandfather Buford. When he reappeared in his current time (that's how the time machine worked in this timeline), he was dead. Old Biff faded from existence because Biff never grew up to become Old Biff (because he was dead), so Old Biff no longer existed.

Question: Did Needles know that Marty would get fired if he swiped his card? He seemed to have a huge smirk on his face as he hung up?

Answer: No, he was just happy that he'd goaded Marty into participating in his scheme.

Brian Katcher

Answer: When Marty is talking to Needles, he mentions that what Needles is asking from him is illegal and that he could get fired especially if the boss was monitoring. This causes Needles to call Marty a chicken, something he hates, and he swipes his card. Needle smirks because of how easy it was for him to push Marty.

Answer: I believe, it's because that Needles made the phone call from "The Jits'" Office and knew that he goaded Marty into doing something that would lead to his termination, which explains why Marty's boss called him immediately afterward and fired him for making the illegal transaction.

Question: During the chase scene, Marty jumps into the water at one end to avoid getting hit by Griff. A few seconds later Marty is out of the water at the other end and climbing up stairs. How did he get to the other end so quickly? Why is he climbing up the stairs after being in the water at the other end of the pond?

Answer: While a few seconds of screen time passed, it was just a cut so we don't know how much time actually passed, but enough time for a crowd to gather and the police to show up. Some of the mall shops were located underground and there may have been an entrance/exit tunnel near the courthouse that Marty ran down after getting out of the pond. The movie doesn't explain it though. If there were stairs going underground near the courthouse, it would make sense Marty runs down them to avoid the crowd coming towards him and the courthouse.


No, that would mean we have to assume certain things. And the fact that Marty appeared coming up the steps, well, it just doesn't make sense because A) we did not see him go to the steps and B) there could NOT be any way to get to the steps from the water.

We didn't see him go to the steps because the scene wasn't continuous, but to say he couldn't get to the steps from the water also means you have to assume certain things. My statement that there would be two sets of steps leading underground on either side of the shops isn't an illogical assumption like your assumption.


Answer: After Griff and gang crashed into the courthouse, Marty grabbed the hoverboard and swam to the other side of the pond so he could get out faster.

Question: When Marty and Doc arrive in the bad 1985, they learn that 1985 has changed and are told that alternate versions of themselves exist. Alternate Doc has been committed and alternate Marty is at a boarding school in Switzerland. Nice movie trick to keep them from running into their alternate selves. Question though, isn't the 1985 at the start of this movie also an alternate 1985? This too has been altered from the original 1985 as seen at the beginning of the first movie. So, where are the alternate Marty and Doc in the timeline when Marty's family is actually upper middle class? Since this is an alternate 1985 as well, where is "rich" Marty? Why didn't he bump into his other self, the Marty that owns the black pickup truck?

Carl Missouri

Chosen answer: We see the alternate Marty depart for the past at the end of the the first movie. As for Doc, as he's simply lived through the thirty years from when the timeline was changed, rather than jumping through time to get there, he actually is the alternate Doc.


Question: In the scene where old Marty enters his house and pushes a button, a computer voice says, 'lithium mode on'. What does that mean?

Answer: Lithium is used to treat bipolar disease and other mental problems. So 'lithium mode' probably has a calming effect when you're depressed or stressed or whatever.

Answer: "Lithium Mode" is more likely to refer to the house's energy consumption. After all the first lithium-ion battery was invented in 1985 (btw. Based on research by one John B. Goodenough and others). So instead of medicating everybody in the house (lithium is no "mother's little helper") Marty switches energy sources from the, likely costly, public electricity grid to the more economic, perhaps even greener, power stored in lithium-ion batteries.

Question: When Marty arrives back in the alternate 1985, he's attacked by a black man when he unknowingly breaks into what he thought to be his home. Could this man be former mayor Goldie Wilson?

Answer: No, it's a different character and a different actor. Goldie Wilson is played by Donald Fullilove. The dad with the bat who chases Marty out of the house is played by Al White.


That doesn't necessarily mean that it's two different characters; George McFly, for example, was portrayed by both Crispin Glover using archived footage from the first film and Jeffrey Weissman in newly filmed footage. While the character played by Al White is credited simply as "Dad", there's no confirmation either way whether this was an alternate version of Goldie Wilson.


The answer is correct, the Dad is not meant to be Goldie Wilson. In the novelization of the film, he's given the name "Lewis." And while some characters were recast, Donald Fullilove (the actor that played Goldie) himself already appears in "Back to the Future Part II", so it's not like they recast him.


Unless there's any indication it's the same charector, or at least a clue to point in that direction, then there's no reason at all to assume it "might" be.


While there was no clear-cut answer on whether this was Goldie, I think it is safe to assume it is not him. This franchise has shown to make recurring characters very noticeable, even minor ones, such as the homeless man that Marty recognizes in 2 different timelines. Yes, sometimes actors get recast, as they did with George McFly and Jennifer Parker, but they made it quite clear they were playing the same character. I see absolutely nothing that would even suggest this was Goldie Wilson.


Jeffrey Weissman is credited as "George McFly", Crispin Glover is credited as "George McFly (archive footage) ", Donald Fullilove is uncredited but listed as "Goldie Wilson II" (on imdb). Al White being credited as "Dad" actually confirms to a T that he is not "Goldie Wilson" and nothing in that scene even remotely suggests that the family father portrayed by Al White might be Goldie Wilson from 1985-A (other than a viewer seeing a person of color and drawing conclusions). There also is no cause to question whether or not the "Dad" was supposed to be any other person of color seen in any of the 1985 timelines. (Not that another POC in that timeline would come to mind).

Glover is not credited the same way as Fullilove is since he's credited only as "archive footage" and Fullilove is uncredited. Glover doesn't physically appear in part 2 as Fullilove did.


I stand corrected and have edited my post. Thank you.

Answer: Also, the 1985 Goldie Wilson's picture was shown on a moving vehicle in part 1, and he looked very different from the father with the bat in part 2.

Answer: It could not be Goldie Wilson. In 1955, Goldie Wilson looks to be around in his early 20s in the cafe. This would put him to be early 50s in 1985. The father only looks to be in his 30s.

Question: Why was old Biff seemingly in agony when he returned to 2015 after stealing the almanac? Did this have to do with this not being his future anymore?

Answer: There is a cut scene of old Biff disappearing after returning the DeLorean.

Answer: I saw a behind-the-scenes special about this, and it said the intention was that after giving the book to himself (thereby changing his future) something then happened to Biff after 1985 but before 2015- possibly being killed by Lorraine while they were married. This is why, after changing his past, Biff shouldn't exist in 2015. This incident was never scripted or shot, but that was the idea. Something similar happened to Marty in the first movie. As he faded from existence, he became sick and weak.


Question: Doc knows all the timeline details of Marty Jr's movements on the 2015 day. So I assume to get this detailed of information, he had to have watched/followed him on that day. How come you never see the "other" Doc and time machine anywhere from Docs previous 2015 visit?

Answer: Because the Doc we're following would be careful to stay away from the path of the other Doc.

K.C. Sierra

Question: In the shot when Doc is in the time machine and it is hit by lightning, it apparently explodes. After the initial explosion you can see what appears to be two backward nines. Does anyone know what this means?

Answer: Whenever the Delorean travelled backwards or forwards in time, it would leave a trail of flames. There was no reason given, but it was a neat effect. When it was struck by the lightning it activated the flux capacitor, etc. And sent Doc and the car back to Jan 1st 1885. The "double nines" you saw was because the Delorean tilted on its axis.


Question: When Doc is writing on the chalkboard he says the alternate 1985 is alternate to him, Marty, and Einstein, but reality to everyone else. What about Jennifer? Wouldn't it be alternate to her as well? That probably wasn't even her porch they left her on.

Carl Missouri

Answer: Yes, if she had woken up before they fixed everything, she would have been in the same position as Marty and Doc. In the heat of the moment, Doc just neglects to mention Jennifer...although Marty does ask about her just before they travel back to 1955, Doc insists that when they fix the past and re-establish the original 1985 timeline, it will transform around her and when she wakes up she won't notice anything amiss.

Answer: As response to the porch, that was the only known house to Marty that Jennifer lived at. If it was no longer her house, the people living there may not have looked outside to see her there. However, odds are that the same family lived there (as probably most cases there). Remember, the only reason for the different family living in Marty's house is because of the connection to Biff (he married Lorraine and shot George) so that house would have a different owner.

Question: In Biff's casino Marty is escaping Biff and his goons - he goes into the stairwell and jumps from one stair to another. What I don't understand is how this stairwell works as it seems to be double, with 2 sets of stairs ending up on the same floor parallel to each other, one on one end and one at another but on the same floor. Does this even make sense? Can anyone tell me why a big building would have 2 sets of stairs in 1 stairwell going parallel and end up on the same floors? Any special name for this type of stairwell perhaps? I can't find anything on it.


Chosen answer: Your assumption is pretty much correct. There are 2 staircases spiralling around each other like a double helix. It is a fairly common way of constructing fire evacuation staircases as it allows a greater number of people to use them at the same time.

I see, so it's purely for fire escape reasons or more to handle overflow capacity in general?


Question: At one point in the film Doc pulls out a case of "emergency money" he's collected from different time periods. When did he have the time to go to all those time periods? Marty went to 1955 and after getting back Doc went to 2015 before coming straight back again to get Marty to go to the future, so when did Doc have the time to go collecting all that money?


Answer: He wouldn't have to travel to the specific time periods to get past money; he could have found ways to procure it in the present (from collectors, museums, banks, etc.) before ever time traveling in the first place.

Answer: He didn't just visit 2015 and came straight back. He had visited more places and spend some time travelling before returning to Marty. He collected all the money in those visits.


Near the end of the first movie, when Marty asks Doc how far ahead he's going, Doc responds that he's going thirty years into the future.

Answer: Doc Brown is a resourceful man. Seeing how the bills in his emergency case are pretty crisp and not knowing how many travels he really made, it is only safe to say that he must have found a way to get his hands on those bills. Though his masquerade and "adding of 30 or 40 years to his life" by way of treatment in a rejuvenation clinic may not have been born out of vanity.

Question: When BTTF Part II was originally released in theaters, was the trailer for Part III part of the original released film, or was the trailer added in later when it was released on VHS like they did with "The be continued..." when Part I was released on VHS?

Answer: It was part of the original theatrical release, because production of Part III was already finished, and the final film was released only six months after Part II. The trailer was included to give audiences a teaser and keep their interest piqued.

Question: 1955 Doc doesn't believe there is going to be rain and neither does the weatherman as a matter of fact. Why then do we see everything wet long before the big storm?

Answer: One of the running gags in the BTTF movies is the dependability of weather forecasts. Obviously, in the first movie, the 1955 weather predictions were completely wrong, and it had already showered even before the big storm. In the second movie, weather forecasts of the future had advanced so much that storms were accurately predicted down to the second.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: That's known as a "wet down" and has become a running gag of itself. It can be seen in many movies, even if there's no rain involved. A movie set can be wet down to improve the visual appearance and help the lighting, the dull grey concrete will turn dark so anything else will stand out, especially at night, and it also disguises shadows of booms, cranes and the likes.

Question: Why was Doc sent back to 1885 with the lightning if he was not going at 88 mph?

Answer: According to producer Bob Gale, the lightning that struck the Delorean caused it to spin up to 88 miles per hour. If you have the DVD or Blu-ray, watch all of the deleted scenes with the commentary on.

Question: Does anyone know why Marty takes a book of matches off of Biff's desk when Biff isn't looking? I know that the matches come in handy at the end of the film when he burns the sports almanac, but what was his original reason for swiping the matches? Unless he knew beforehand that he was going to have to burn the almanac.

Answer: It seemed more like a reflex action than a deliberate decision. Marty saw Biff's name on the matchbook cover, causing him to pick it up for a closer look, then just stuffed it into his pocket. As you pointed out, they came in handy later. That and when they changed the timeline in 1955 after burning the alamanac, it would also change back to "Biffs Auto Detailing." Gotta make sure you cover your bases when dealing with the future, make sure that everything changes back to normal.


Question: Why does Doc suddenly change his ideas (about time travel and not learning too much of your own future) in Part 2? In Part 1, he was determined not to learn too much about his own future, despite Marty trying to warn him that his life depended on it. But in Part 2, suddenly it's okay to bring Marty to the future and give him enough information to try to change the course of destiny for his son. Also, wouldn't it have just been easier to warn Marty about the accident he was going to have that caused his life to go so wrong to begin with? One would have to think that if Marty becomes successful and lives out an entirely different life, then maybe his son doesn't turn into such a wimp.


Chosen answer: Marty's saving his life with the note made him realize that some events are worth tampering with. He wasn't aware that Marty's entire life had taken a wrong turn, he'd just read that his son goes to prison after the robbery and takes action on that one thing.

Captain Defenestrator

Continuity mistake: In the first BTTF movie, when Lorraine and Marty are sitting in the car, Lorraine takes off her coat and then asks Marty why he's so nervous. In this movie, when Marty is crouching down to get past the car, Lorraine looks at 1955 Marty and asks him why he's so nervous without taking off her coat.

More mistakes in Back to the Future Part II

Biff: Go ahead, kid. Jump. A suicide will be nice and neat.
Marty: What if I don't?
Biff: [raising gun] Lead poisoning.
Marty: What about the police, Biff? They're gonna match up the bullet with that gun.
Biff: Kid, I own the police. Besides, they couldn't match up the bullet that killed your old man.
Marty: You son of a...
[Biff pulls back on the gun's hammer.]
Biff: Suppose it's poetic justice. Two McFlys with the same gun.

More quotes from Back to the Future Part II

Trivia: The reason that Marty McFly Jr. was arrested was because of stealing an unsubstantiated amount of money from the Hill Valley Payroll Substation.

More trivia for Back to the Future Part II

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