Son of a...

Dear Johnny Fanboy,

Whilst listening to the third series of the Ross Noble On radio show on CD, I heard a Back to the Future nit-pick I'd never thought of before.

Noble points out that you wouldn't very likely forget somebody who had united you with your loved one during your formative years. Therefore, there must come a point (say around the early to mid 1980s) when Marty McFly comes downstairs one morning and his father George says: "Hang on a minute! You look just like that Marty guy who got me and your mum together."

Why then doesn't George accuse Lorraine of seeing that old Marty behind his back? They might have got together at an old school reunion in the late 1960s. To add insult to injury, it would appear to George as though Lorraine had named her illegitimate child after the man who'd fathered it.

T M Revell

Johnny Fanboy replies:

When you grow up from a child to a teenager to an adult, you are not really aware of your appearance changing and maturing from day to day, year to year. Nor do you notice your parents gradually growing older, perhaps a little fatter, maybe a little greyer. Nor do parents notice changes in their children from one day to the next. It's only when you look back at old photographs or home movies that you realise just how much you and they have changed over the years.

Similarly, I doubt that George or Lorraine would notice as their baby boy gradually matured into a young man who is the spitting image of the Marty they met back in 1955. And since they don't possess any photographs of the 1955 Marty (that I'm aware of), their memory of his likeness would fade over the years.

Alternatively, and staying on the subject of photographs, it's possible that, after meeting Marty in 1955, they noticed the resemblance between him and some of George's ancestors, such as Seamus and William McFly from Back to the Future - Part III, in old family photos. They might therefore conclude that Marty must have been some long-lost relative, passing through town unaware of his connection with George, and so are not too surprised when their son ultimately comes to resemble the 1955 Marty as well as George's ancestors.

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