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Back To The Future - Late Lightning
When Marty is going to go hit the lightning to get his car able to travel in time. Doc says, "Go!" meaning that the lightning is about to strike. On the other hand, Marty is still trying to turn on his car. The lightning would have already struck, and Marty would have missed it.
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Contributed By:
cory on 03-06-2000
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The Geek writes:
I agree that Marty SHOULD have missed the lightning bolt by several seconds because of the stalling DeLorean. However, it should be noted that no one knew EXACTLY what second the lightning hit the clock tower, just that it was 10:03 PM. The lightning could have struck at precisely 10:03 or sometime during that minute. It is possible that Marty losing a few seconds because the car wouldn't start would not have kept him from his appointment with destiny.
12 of 15 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Deanna88_99 writes:
Listen, first of all, the blue sheet that Marty shows the Doc says on it that lightening struck the clock tower at precisely 10:04 PM and so we know the exact time. Second, Marty must have compensated for the time loss by going faster then he was suppose to. As long as he was on time with the alarm clock, which was set exactly with the clock tower, and was going 88 MPH, he would successfully make it back.
8 of 10 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Brendon writes:
What the hell kinda slipup is this?! I've watched this scene over and over and this does not happen. When Marty is trying to start the car the Doc is hanging from the clock with the cable detatched and doesn't even say "go" at this point! I don't get what you meant by it, but it just don't happen!
6 of 9 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Joe writes:
When the alarm clock goes off, Marty is sopossed to go forward excelerating up to 88 MPH. But when he finally gets the the car to start he floors it, thats how he caught up with the lightning.
4 of 7 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Davo100 writes:
Its a film; reality gets suspended, deal with it!! As a scientist, I can tell you that Marty would have be precisely under the wire at the exact instant the lightning struck, a tiny fraction of a second early or late and it simply wouldn't work!! We're talking thousandths of a second accuracy here!! The only way this could possibly work would be if the wire was placed so it ran along the whole length of the road (like a tram wire) instead of just being strung across it. Marty would then stand an outside chance of having the lightning's energy channelled into the flux capacitor at the critical moment.
2 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Scolman writes:
I think he means that, if Doc had "precisely calculated" the time it took for Marty to reach the 'power line', he would have missed it alltogether since the alarm rang while Marty was trying to start the car, and the car only started about 5 seconds after it went of.
1 of 3 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Cpt. T.A.S. writes:
I don't understand the slip up here. Doc set the clock on the dashboard to go off and Marty to race toward the clock. Ok, there are 2 possibilities here. Doc set the clock ahead just enough so when it went off Marty would still be ahead of the clock tower and be able to get there in time. Ok, that leaves the part where the DeLorean doesn't start and you would figure that he would miss it. At the part where Marty first meets Doc, Doc complains that nothing he invents works. Doc could have made a simple mistake in his calculations.
2 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
TACD writes:
Nitpicking, silly nitpicking. Look at it this way; if the film took place in REAL LIFE then it would be impossible to drive the car past the wire at EXACTLY the right time to get hit by the lightning, never mind if the calculations were right or not. In the FILM, clearly Doc's calculations were wrong and missing the clock just creates tension.
2 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
speedy03860 writes:
All comments and observations are relevent and valid, but remember, the clock that was used to let Marty know when to go was ANALOG not digital, there is no real exact 10:03 or 04 (well there is, but you can't set them that exact) when using a timepiece like that, so yes Marty did not hit the mark right on the alarm ringing, but in all likelyhood, Doc could not get an exact time on the alarm clock either and the best he could do was a close guesstimate and that was evidentally enough of a discrepany on the unexact analog clock and the car stalling to get the job done, which as we all know it did work.
0 of 1 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
redsox02 writes:
Joe is a dumb person. Doc's calculations were made for Marty to floor it, what you think he figured exactly what pace Marty would excelerate at? The only way to do that with a Manual Transmission is to floor it!!
0 of 7 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
cory writes:
This is awesome partner never seen such a rare and cool slipup before
0 of 16 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes

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