Back to the Future 'Future Day': We shine 1.21GW of truth on the rumours

Twitter has been all abuzz the last few days with rumour that either yesterday or today is the date on the DeLorean's dashboard in Back to the Future. We settle this once and for all

Twitter has got its knickers all in a twist over a rumour circulating that yesterday, 5 July 2010, was the date Doc Brown entered into the famous DeLorean's time-travel control panel in Back to the Future.

Total Film has since confessed to starting the rumour by mistake after an office conversation -- perhaps influenced by it being the 25th anniversary of the film's Independence Day opening weekend -- turned into a tweet on the publication's feed, unfortunately without being fact-checked first.

Once it realised its grievous error it followed that tweet up with a humorous photoshop of the DeLorean's dashboard, with the date altered to 5July 2010 and the caption "We got it wrong. Apparently 5 July 2010 isn't mentioned in Back to the Future. So we went back and changed it..."

Unfortunately what was meant as a tongue in cheek apology was taken as proof positive that the rumour was true, and the hopefuls on Twitter took the image and reposted it umpteen times.

The web of intrigue became even more entangled when a someone else altered the photoshopped image so that it read 6 July 2010 -- today's date. Suddenly the debate was raging as to whether it was 5 or 6 July 2010 that's actually featured in the film. So which is it? What's the truth behind this wall of lies?!

Neither date is correct. In fact, the year 2010 is never entered into the DeLorean's dashboard at all, in any of the three films, and at no point in the trilogy is the year 2010 visited by any of the film's plucky heroes. Back to the Future Part II features a bonafide trip into the future, but they go to 21 October 2015.

In the first movie we do see Doc Brown tinkering with the dashboard, but only to demonstrate to Marty the potential for time travel. He enters the following dates:

  • 4 July 1776 -- The Declaration of Independence
  • 25 December 0000 -- The birth of Christ
  • 5 November 1955 -- The year Doc Brown invents time travel. The display is set to this when the Libyans show up and Marty has to escape into the past.

Blimey. We hope that clears up the confusion. If there's anything outstanding, let us know and we'll happily dig out our DVD box set. Y'know, in the name of accuracy.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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