In this related question we see that there could be an out of universe significance to the date November 5. But what about the other dates? I've listed them below. Is there any evidence indicating any other dates aside from November 5 when time travel occurred had any out of universe significance as the reason for why they were chosen?

  • October 26 (1985): the DeLorean first time travels 1 minute into the future. Doc also travels back from 2015 to have Marty avoid the perilous future ahead of his family
  • November 12 (1955): the DeLorean travels back to 1985
  • October 21 (2015): the DeLorean arrives in 2015
  • October 27 (1985): Doc and Marty travel back in time after seeing the drastically altered timeline where Biff is rich
  • January 1 (1885): Doc arrives in the Old West
  • November 16 (1955): Marty travels back to 1885 to prevent Doc's murder
  • September 2 (1885): Marty arrives in 1885
  • September 7 (1885): Marty travels back to 1985 from 1885
  • 1
    October 26, 1985, was a few months after the movie was released (July 3, 1985). I don't know what date the release was scheduled for when the movie was being made. Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 11:33
  • 1
    January 1 is a likely result of a circuit malfunction - first day of the year,
    – TimSparrow
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 12:02
  • Maybe also June 13, 2032 and October 21, 2045, from the Doc Brown Saves the World featurette.
    – bishop
    Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 3:34

1 Answer 1


I imagine you could make all sorts of connections to the dates, but does it mean they were intentionally done? - That is hard to tell. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale would be the two people likely to make edits to the script. Zemeckis Directed all three films and Bob Gale Co-wrote (with Zemeckis) the first and wrote the second and third - but looking at them or Amblin Entertainment or even other references like Jules Verne, nothing stands out as glaringly obvious.

My guess would be based on where the dates generally fall and a desire in film and writing to maintain continuity, even to details that may seem arbitrary. But consider Michael J. Fox and the image in your mind of his character - he always has on jeans, high-tops, an undershirt, and the puffy red vest. If the original dates were the dead of summer, it would form a discord in the audiences mind. And once you commit, its tough to alter characters and when/where you see them without the potential for that discord with the audience.

The analogue that best comes to mind is the 180 degree line in filming dialogue - when you film two characters speaking back-and-forth, it's generally a firm rule (unless you're trying to be Avant-Garde) that the camera line of site does not cross the invisible line created automatically from one character shot to the other. So once you shoot dialogue, with two camera positions (two brief shots, sometimes even one), you are suddenly committed to certain restrictions. And if you do cross the 180 degrees, it is unconsciously unnerving - something won't look right and it draws your attention.

As for the late summer, fall, and early winter dates, maybe it's just marketing. Look at the original launch date - early July. You definitely don't want a futuristic movie dealing with time to throw out a date that gets outstripped by its own launch...

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