Did Doc Brown and The Doctor Ever Meet?

Categories: Geek

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I wear a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool.
The new series of Doctor Who is coming soon. Having become acquainted, nay obsessed, with the Time Lord over the last year by watching everything Netflix has to offer, reading comics and books, listening to audio plays and basically turning into a nerdtastic fanboy at every opportunity, I simply can't wait to join back up with Matt Smith, see the return of the Daleks and say goodbye to Amy and Rory.

That being said...with two weeks still to go until the premiere on September 1, I'm stuck just taking the long fourth-dimensional route and daydreaming about the coming adventures. This led me to muse, "Is it possible, or even likely, that the Doctor has ever had a run-in with America's own pre-eminent time traveler, Doctor Emmet Brown from the Back to the Future series?"

Actually, yes, it's very likely they have met.

We can safely rule out an encounter occurring during the events of the first Back to the Future film. Brown had just perfected his time-travel technology, and had not added the augments to the DeLorean that enable transcontinental flight. Brown and Marty never leave America during their first outing, and the Doctor (in his Sixth incarnation played by Colin Baker at the time) spends most of 1985 either off world, dealing with a Cyberman invasion in the London sewers or stopping the Sontarans in Venice with his Second incarnation.

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Of brief note, the lack of flight augments to the DeLorean does not mean, of course, that it cannot somehow travel great distances. After all, every time machine is also a spaceship in some form due to the movement of objects through space and time simultaneously. If Marty had traveled back to the exact same objective point in space in 1955, he most likely would've ended up floating dead somewhere in the Earth's orbit. So obviously, temporal travel involves spatial travel as well, though how this is compensated in the DeLorean is as yet unknown.

It's equally unlikely that Brown and the Doctor would've met during the 1955 adventures either. The Doctor didn't begin his regular visitations to Earth until 1963, and traveled to the year Brown invented Earth-based time travel only once in his Fourth incarnation to see Professor Chronotis at St Cedd's College in Cambridge.

Nor has the Doctor spent any significant amount of time on Earth in 2015, when Brown brings Marty into the future to change the fate of Marty McFly Jr. This may change, obviously, as the contemporary Doctor moves closer to that year.

The most likely point of meeting is in the American Old West in 1885, and such a meeting actually answers some nagging questions about the Back to the Future series.

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2 comments
Smedley
Smedley

William Hartnell's Doctor (The first Doctor) was present at the O.K. Corral gunfight which happened in 1881.

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

 @Smedley I saw that, but there's not much indication that Brown traveled that far back initially, though of course he may have. And if he and the Doctor had met there then it's likely he would've been able to call on him for help when Marty was stranded. 

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