Friday, August 18, 2017

World History According to Back to the Future

The other day I was browsing YouTube and happened across this highly amusing (if slightly-mis-titled) video:

What it lacks in not having the whole six-hour movie saga, of course, it makes up for by including snippets from the Animated Series, the Telltale video game, and even screen-shots from the tie-in comics, both the current IDW series and the old Harvey Comics stories. The inclusion of the former, by the way (not to mention the 30th anniversary short from a couple years back), makes this technically more up-to-date, if far less comprehensive, than the excellent Back in Time by Greg Mitchell.

In a way, it illustrates both the positives and negatives of opening up such a well-crafted story into an Expanded Universe. Some consistency of tone and quality is lost, a well as opening up many more opportunities for continuity errors to creep in (already a particular peril for time-travel stories). At the same time, however, the scope is greatly increased - as we see in the video, Back to the Future: The Animated Series hit many of the most popular eras of historical fiction, with pirates and dinosaurs and knights and Romans, among others. The ongoing IDW comics do the same thing for the characters, giving us such gems as Griff Tannen's 2035 employment as a police officer (!) and Doc's mid-1960s attempt to get government funding for his experiments (which somehow resulted in Marty coming back from the future only speaking Russian).

If nothing else, an active EU shows that a story like Back to the Future still resonates with the listeners, even after over 30 years. Fan projects, like this video, are another encouraging sign, and I'm glad to be able to share it.