November 5: A Day to Remember

What makes November 5 such an important date in Time Travel films?

The Back to the Future films have Doc Brown discovering time travel on that date in 1955, which is also the date Marty returns to from 1985.

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann has Swann return to November 5, 1877. Similarly in Time After Time the action jumps from 1893 to Nov. 5, 1979.

Back To The Future (1985), with it’s myriad of shout-outs to previous works could be referencing the day from Time After Time (1979), as this Malcolm McDowell film was relatively popular at the time. It’s possible that the screenwriters, Bob Zemeckis and Bob Gale, were aware of Timerider as well, and saw the same date used, and decide to continue to draw attention to it.

In the real world, probably the most famous thing to have happened on November 5 is the Gunpowder Treason Plot run by Guy Fawkes. But, more likely, the real reason could be a reference to Bob Gale’s father’s birthday which is on Nov. 5.

I will continue to watch for references to this date as the time travel film watching continues. After all, it’s a red letter date in the history of science!

Special thanks to @DarthMarmalade to bringing this to my attention so early in the year!


One comment

  1. orangerful · January 19, 2015

    Well that just blew my mind! Maybe it’s time to put in the Back to the Future blu-rays with the commentary turned on and see if anyone mentions it…


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