“Photoshop? Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Photoshop!”

Certain dates stick out in the mind. November the 5th perhaps or the 4th of July.  But until yesterday, 5 July 2010 wasn’t on the list for many people.

Until, that is, some bright spark on Twitter published the following:

There’s a line in Back To The Future where Christopher Lloyd sets the DeLorean for “25 yrs in the future” THAT’S TODAY!Sun Jul 04 04:40:30 via web

Attracting hundreds of status updates, retweets and (in our case) emails, the little mote of trivia took the internet by storm.

Except, some bright spark soon pulled the rug out from under the furore by identifying that the date they travelled to would actually have been 26 October 2010. What’s more, Marty ends up going to the day Doc invented the Flux capacitor instead, thanks to a pickup truck full of angry terrorists.

If this wasn’t already complicated enough, Total Film then released a mockup of what the DeLorean’s time travel panel would have looked like if they had travelled to 5 July 2010 (below).

Predictably, this produced a second wave of misunderstanding, buffeted by an irate backlash from those who were angry enough at its inaccuracy the first time round.  What’s interesting is that a very simple but attractive idea was able to go viral not once but twice on the basis of that simplicity.  It’s a timely reminder that sometimes less is more.

For those keen Back to the Future fans out there, the date you might really want to add to your calendar is 21 October 2015, or the day that Marty arrives in the future in the second film. Until then, we’ll leave you with the sage advice that remains true throughout time; don’t believe everything you read on the internet…