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Script / Number Two

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Fans of Back to the Future know that the basic plotline of Back to the Future Part II was about Marty McFly and Doc Brown finding themselves in an alternate present ruled by Biff Tannen, and going to the year 1955 (where the events of the original movie took place) to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. But did you know that they were originally going to go back not to 1955, but rather 1967?

That is the premise of Number Two, an early script for Back to the Future Part II. From that point on, it begins to bear similarities to Part I — Marty once again interferes in his parents' life, jeopardizing his own birth (Dave and Linda were already born by this time); and the DeLorean's source of electricity needed to travel in time breaks down, forcing Marty and Doc to rely on Doc's past self to get them back to the future.


You can find the full script here.

This script provides examples of:

  • Angry Guard Dog: 1967 Biff has a German Shepherd named Chopper that Marty runs into while trying to recover the Almanac.
  • Brick Joke: When Marty learns that his future son's name is "Norman", he declares he would never name his kid with that name. Jennifer then reveals that she always wanted to name her son Norman, after her grandpa. Jennifer later has a similar reaction to Marty's when she learns that her daughter's name is "Doris", but we don't find out where it came from until later — it was the name of Marty's mom's aunt.
  • Call-Back:
    • At the end of the script, Marty and Jennifer are about to kiss when they were interrupted. After the interruption, Marty asks, "Now, where were we?" Jennifer answers, "Right about here." They then get interrupted again when they almost kiss.
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    • The band at the hippie rally, Blue Nirvana, is an indirect Call Back to the Starlighters from the first movie, inasmuch as both bands play Nothing but Hits.
  • The Cameo: Huey Lewis and the News, when Marty first escapes from Griff and his gang.
  • Crapsack World: 1985-A, or "Biff City," natch.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In 1985-A, Marty witnesses two cops bludgeoning a 14-year-old with their nightsticks, all because the kid drew a mustache on a picture of Biff.
  • Future Slang: Quite often in 2015, and it leads to a breakdown of communications between Marty, Jennifer, and the 2015 infostore clerk over "interfacing."
    • Then lampshaded a moment later:
      Clerk: [muttering] Assholes.
      Marty: Now there's a word I understand.
  • Homage: Marty and 1985 Doc ride a Harley while "Born to Be Wild" plays, a homage to Easy Rider.
  • I'm Mr. [Future Pop Culture Reference]:
    • Marty's alias this time around is "Marty DeLorean".
    • Marty pretends to be "meditating" with a chant of "Oh-bee-wahn-ken-oh-bee", and later leads a crowd of hippies in a "meditative chant" consisting of the words "Subaru," "Mazda," and "Celica."
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  • Mad Scientist: '67 Doc takes LSD to get ideas, and his ultimate plan could potentially kill people if it goes wrong. "What's life without a few calculated risks?"
  • Meaningful Name: Marty's middle name is revealed to be "Hopkins", after the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, where George and Lorraine spent their 1967 anniversary weekend.
  • Mirror Routine: The '67 and '85 Docs do one.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: '67 Doc's costume is described as "a cross between an Indian guru, a rock star, and a scientist".
  • Nothing but Hits: PLENTY of this in the '67 scenes. "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane is selected for a scene in the hippie pad, Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild" is used when Marty and Doc ride a Harley down the highway, and "When I'm Sixty-Four" by The Beatles plays over the end credits. (Another Zemeckis film would later make use of this trope in its fullest glory.)
    • In addition, the band at the hippie rally plays covers of "Eve of Destruction," "Mr. Tambourine Man," and "Get Together."
  • Patriotic Fervor: Most of the Hill Valley of 1967. Marty in his hippie garb gets some dirty looks from passersby, and Biff even has a bumper sticker that says "AMERICA: Love It Or Leave It."
  • Race Against the Clock: Here, it's Marty and Doc flying the time vehicle on ailerons, lightening the load to be on the correct altitude to absorb an explosive charge.
  • Running Gag: Otis Peabody repeatedly seeing the flying DeLorean after his extended stay in the sanitorium, building on Peabody's One-Scene Wonder from the first movie.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Old Jennifer gives one to Old Marty.
  • Scenery Censor: Done with Old Jennifer's face, until she finishes her speech.
  • The '60s: Zemeckis and Gale said that they planned to take the second movie from the "1950s greasers and malt shops" to the "1960s hippies and lava lamps".
  • Stealth Pun: There's a radio station called "KSERA," whose name evokes the old song "Que sera, sera"—"whatever will be, will be."
  • Technology Marches On: Remember when Biff and his cronies were pushing around George in the Lou's Cafe for not doing his homework? Now it's Griff and his cronies pushing around Norman. Albeit this time Norman had done Griff's homework, but it's still rejected by Griff because Norman had entered the data with his own passkey code. However, this time, Griff doesn't need time to re-copy it, he'll just have Norman redo it, after giving him the passkey code.
  • Theme Naming: '67 Doc's dog is named Newton, joining Copernicus and Einstein.
  • Timeline-Altering MacGuffin:
    • The former Trope Namer Gray's Sports Almanac appears in this script. Surprisingly, in this version, it takes Marty very little time to retrieve the book in the third act, and 1985-A fades away from a matchbook almost as soon as the almanac is back in Marty's possession (he doesn't even have to burn the book or anything).
    • Later on, it's subverted: Marty is forced to throw the almanac out of the DeLorean to reduce the excess weight, whereupon it's discovered by Otis Peabody, who is camping out nearby. The illiterate Peabody promptly burns it as useless garbage.
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble:
    Doc: [referring to his 1967 self] Damn, I was crazy in those days. These days. Damn these pronouns!
  • Translation by Volume: Marty and Jennifer visit a store clerk in the year 2015. Marty asks for the Timeline-Altering MacGuffin, but the clerk asks, "On what?" After asking a few more times, Marty goes for the direct approach.
    Marty: (very slowly, deliberately) Look, I just want to know how much money the Sports Almanac costs.
    Clerk: (just as deliberately) And I just want to know what format you want? ROM-Cart, ROM-D, Standard-C, Mini-C or Micro-C? Rental, Lease or download? What's your memcap and baud rate? Interface with me, kid. You'll never get by in this world if you can't interface.
    Marty: Uh, right — good advice.
  • Wronski Feint: A variation. Marty and Doc are trying to escape the Hill Valley police and 1985-A in the flying DeLorean, but the cops' gunfire damages a crucial acceleration circuit, meaning that the time machine can't accelerate to 88 while in flight. So Doc puts the car into a nosedive in order to reach the speed for temporal displacement.