7 Time Travel Movies Improved By Doc Brown

Mushy romance crashes like the Titanic into the iceberg of sci-fi this Friday as The Time Traveller's Wife arrives on our screens.

It's loaded with Notebook-style yearning and troubled love, but we figured out what it's missing: Dr Emmett Brown.

Yes, Back To The Future's crazed scientist makes any time travel film seem more fun, so we thought we'd add him to the new arrival and some others from years gone by.

Or, if you have access to time machine, years still to come. Or... Anyone got an Aspirin? We have a headache.

The Time Traveller's Wife (2009)

The Original: Winsome heroine Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams) meets her perfect man in Eric Bana's librarian.

There's a hitch in their romantic plans, however - due to a weird gene, he keeps vanishing to travel through time, which means she spends a lot of time alone.

But they keep the flame alive, even when their relationship is stretched to breaking point.

With Added Doc Brown:
After his wife Clara is moved to tears by the couple's plight, Doc decides to intercede.

He creates a device that can lock someone in time and proceeds to grab Eric Bana.

Sadly, due to a minor miscalculation, he ends up transporting Bana's Star Trek villain Nero, complete with the Narada, back to modern-day Earth.

Risk To The Space/Time Continuum: The time stream is changed as Nero decides that our world is the perfect place to stop the birth of the Federation.

After a million hardcore Trekkers have fallen trying to fight him off (the gene pool remains singularly unchanged), King Nero The Pointy begins the new dark age as ruler of Earth.

Next: The Time Machine


The Time Machine (1960)

The Original: Our hero, H George Wells (Rod Taylor) fashions a time machine, which looks like a brass factory had sex with an umbrella.

He goes off into the future, where he discovers that two races - the peace-loving Eloi and the vicious, meat-eating Morlocks - are all that is left of the human race.

With Added Doc Brown: Wanting to help Wells' later quest to rebuild society, Doc arrives in the flying Delorean carrying a thousand books crammed into his iPod.

Sadly, he lands on several of the Eloi and the rest start worshipping him as God.

Risk To The Space/Time Continuum:
When Wells orders Brown to go "the ruddy damned well away" a shaken Emmett takes off again in the car.

But a Morlock has snuck aboard the vehicle and, in the ensuing struggle, the Delorean is sent back to the dawn of the human race.

In some parallel universe, the entire human race is now Morlocks. Almost everything is different, though the Daily Mail is still published.

Next: Time After Time


Time After Time (1979)

The Original: HG Wells (yes, him again, this time played by Malcolm McDowell), discovers that one of his best mates (David Warners) is actually Jack The Ripper.

Jack makes his escape using Wells' newly-built time machine and Wells tracks him to the 1970s, where the serial killer is re-igniting his bloody career.

With Added Doc Brown: On a random visit to the decade to pick up "retro" clothes to sell to hipsters, Doc encounters Wells and his newfound '70s companion Amy (Mary Steenbergen)

Falling instantly in love with her (because she looks exactly like his missus Clara - both are played by Steenbergen), he knocks out Wells and flies off with the woman.

Risk To The Space/Time Continuum: Now that Jack has a time machine all to himself, he cuts a swathe through some of the most famous periods in history, offing legendary women.

Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench's film careers suffer badly.

Next: The Jacket


The Jacket (2005)

The Original: Injured Gulf War veteran Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) is slammed into an asylum when he's wrongly accused of murdering a cop.

Weirdy doctor Becker (Kriss Kristofferson) makes him the subject of his psychological experiments, and he starts seeing visions of the future - and traveling there to fall in love with a girl he met as a youngster (Keira Knightley).

He also learns he's going to be killed if he can't stop his own future coming true...

With Added Doc Brown:
Doc decides to help out and rescues Jack from the morgue locker where he's trapped by Doctor Becker.

Taking him in the flying train back to the Gulf War to try and stop his original injury from ever happening, problems crop up when he prevents the war itself from happening.

Risk To The Space/Time Continuum: Turns out Jack was actually a new dictator in the making, and he dumps Doc out of the train, skips back in time and becomes all-powerful.

The galaxy ends up ruled by a half-Brody, half-'bot despot

Next: Primer


Primer (2004)

The Original: Shane Carruth's ultra low-budget sci-fi tale follows two engineers, Aaron (Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan), who accidentally create a machine that allows an object - or a person - to travel back in time.

The pair start out by cheating the stock market, but eventually crack and decide to alter their own lives for the better.

Soon, paradoxes are springing up everywhere and the two friends quickly fall out.

With Added Doc Brown: Doc sees the lads as kindred spirits and decides to help them out by "fixing" their device to allow travel into the future.

Unfortunately, he hasn't counted on the fact that they're both ethically-challenged idiots who quickly use their machine's new-found power to journey far into the future.

Risk To The Space/Time Continuum: Earth itself is eventually swallowed by a giant time vortex created when the two men go forward in time and get into an argument about who married the hottest swimsuit model.

Vanishing into a parallel universe, Doc swears that he'll stick to helping likeable scruffpots with no scientific training in future.

Next: The Butterfly Effect


The Butterfly Effect (2004)

The Original: Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) is a young man with a troubled history.

He blacks out frequently as a way of blocking out the highly stressful moments in his life, but while in college, he discovers the ability to travel back in time while reading his diaries.

But when he tries to sort his past out, he realises that each trip back makes things worse.

With Added Doc Brown: Doc, quickly realsing that Evan is quite the most annoying time-traveller in the history of chrono-jumpers and decides to do the world a favour.

Gunning the DeLorean, Doc runs over Treborn's dad and Evan is never born.

Risk To The Space/Time Continuum: The world is a happier place without the Butterfly Effect story and Doc is hailed as a hero.

Next: Lost In Space


Lost In Space (1998)

The Original: One of the more botched and least enjoyable time travel adventure films finds the Robinson family (led by William Hurt's John Robinson) trying to reach a planet that humanity needs to colonise to escape a polluted Earth.

One act of Sabotage later and the crew is stranded in the future, battling a robotic spider version of stowaway Dr Zachary Smith (Gary Oldman) and trying to return to their own time.

With Added Doc Brown: Emmett, on a random visit to the future to check his swelling bank account, finds the Robinsons' distress call.

Using the Delorean to go and help them, he rescues the team and takes them back in time.

But after a metallic spider creature gets into the car's computer works, they overshoot their own time and land in our 1965, crashing into the studio where the original Lost In Space TV show is shooting.

Risk To The Space/Time Continuum:
The resulting paradox destroys not only the Earth, but several alternate universes.

But the Lost In Space movie also never happens, so it all works out in the end.

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Freelance Journalist

James White is a freelance journalist who has been covering film and TV for over two decades. In that time, James has written for a wide variety of publications including Total Film and SFX. He has also worked for BAFTA and on ODEON's in-cinema magazine.