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originally posted by: mirageman
The Questionable Ethics of Doc Emmett Brown
It’s easy to overlook them in a family movie. But the Doc has some flawed character traits that should be pointed out.
When he attempts to harness the power of nature and use the lightning strike on the Clock Tower he is approached by a police officer. The full scene was edited in the first movie. But the surviving footage clearly shows Doc bribing a police officer. The scene ends with the officer alluding to the fact that the Doc set something on fire in the past.
He is of course talking about the ‘Brown’ Mansion. In 1985 the Doc inhabits, the only thing left at the time, the garage. Doc’s land having long been sold off to a Burger chain.
However we know from the, not so, subtle hints in the news clippings Doc keeps pinned to his wall that the home was destroyed. The clip from 1962 mentions “Brown Estate Sold To Developers: Bankrupt Inventor Sells Off 135 Prime Acres”. Whether he actually set the building on fire for the insurance money is only hinted at in the scene above. But Doc Brown certainly made money from selling the land off to a burger restaurant chain. He spent a lot of the cash collecting clocks it seems.
The Doc also has a very large collection of bank notes from various time periods.
The collection is shown in BTTF2. But how he obtained such a collection is not mentioned. As Doc is talking about destroying the time machine in 2015, he says "My only regret is that I will never get a chance to visit my favourite historical era; the Old West". You can only speculate as to how he accumulated all those notes with that in mind. Essential as those notes may be for the intrepid time traveller.
Worse still is Doc’s successful attempt to obtain plutonium from a bunch of Libyan terrorists. He tells them he will build them a nuclear bomb from the stolen plutonium! Thankfully he was only using it to fuel his time machine. But it would surely put him on the FBI watch list?
Then we have his willingness to use the 2015 version (at least in the BTTF universe) of Rohypnol on Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer. It seems the Doc has an ‘E Z Sleep’ device. Something which obviously sends people to sleep in seconds. So he uses it on poor Jennifer then leaves her unconscious, hidden in a back alley!
In the third and final instalment Doc Brown even ruins a whole railroad and steam train in efforts to get Marty back to 1985. Don’t forget that the Doc’s best and only friend is a teenage schoolboy as well!
Perhaps his character traits are influenced by the fact that he was committed back in the 1960s? BTTF2’s alternate time line shows a 1983 newspaper clip with the headline “Emmett Brown Committed Crackpot Inventor Declared Legally Insane”. It also reports Richard Nixon is seeking a 5th term and vowing to end the Vietnam war by 1985. Jeez!!!