Back To The Future, unquestionably the greatest film ever made, owes a lot of its magnificence to Dr. Emmett Brown, eccentric-ass inventor. After all, his vision of the flux capacitor, following a knock to the head caused by falling off a toilet, is what makes time travel possible. But we don’t know much about him.
All we’re told about his backstory other than that he’s of German ancestry – in Part III he mentions his family changing their name from Von Braun – is that he funds his experiments using money he inherited from his uncle.
A redditor named ParameciaAntic has come up with a surprisingly convincing theory – that Doc Brown was part of the Manhattan Project, which developed the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"Independently wealthy crackpot inventor in the 1950s, the same in the 1980s. We can probably assume he didn't hold a security clearance level job in the intervening years. So where did he get his expertise in nuclear weapons? The Libyan terrorists picked him to build a bomb for them for a reason. Even though he didn't do it, his casual use of plutonium in his time machine suggests that he was practiced in working with radioactive materials."
It makes sense. Who else would have two radiation suits hanging around, and know exactly how to use plutonium? Plus, given his appearance in 1955 he’d have been in his late twenties at the time the project took place, and the average age of the people involved was 28. People involved in the project were obviously rewarded for their efforts – could the “uncle” that Emmett inherited money from be… Uncle Sam?
Most compelling of all is this picture, “discovered” by fellow redditor matthattar, showing the team working on the first nuclear reactor. There’s something really familiar about the guy on the right…
Well, we're convinced.
It also makes this Back To The Future 'prequel' trailer make a lot more sense.