time train

New Back to the Future comic grew from franchise's final line

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Oct 5, 2017, 3:58 PM EDT (Updated)

When it comes to time travel, people are always sticklers for continuity. Even people who aren't noted cinema buzzkill/physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson get hung up on the detective details of who went where when, especially when it comes to film's most deeply loved time travel franchise, Back to the Future.

So when Doc Brown's final line in 1990's Back to the Future Part III (and the final line of the franchise) answered "Nope, already been there" to a question about traveling to the future, it was inevitably going to pay off -- if only to silence sticklers. Twenty-seven years later, it's time to find out when exactly everyone took that midnight train to the future and what went down when they did.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, franchise screenwriter Bob Gale answered questions about how the throwaway gag at the end of the series ended up birthing a new Back to the Future property altogether. What was originally "just showmanship" became a new comic book Gale is co-authoring with John Barber called Back to the Future: Tales From the Time Train.

With Rick and Mortya series grown out of perverse reference to Back to the Future's Doc and Marty, at its peak cultural influence, now seems an opportune moment to revamp any and all travel through time. Starting at the end of the movies, from Doc's perspective, the comic attempts to tell new stories with the same characters without polluting the timestream with too many hiccups and warbles. Another common time-travel problem Gale addressed is that of the unlimited redo button, time-traveling back to reverse mistakes. Besides creating countless altered timelines (if that's the particular time-travel theory to which you subscribe), it's lazy writing that deflates all suspense.

Cognizance about common time-travel troubles promises a Back to the Future story that isn't just capitalizing on a franchise's loose ends, but one that continues to flesh out beloved characters. Even if it pisses off Tyson on Twitter, a little care for physics goes a long way for the rest of us.