Great Scott! It's October! That means our lives are about to intersect with a monumental moment on one of cinema's trickiest timelines – the day when Marty McFly arrives in the Hill Valley of the future, in Robert Zemeckis's 1989 sequel Back to the Future Part II. Yes folks, 21 October 2015 is "Back to the Future Day".
Across the world, fans of the classic time-travel trilogy are looking forward to a whole slew of events dedicated to celebrating this fantasy watershed moment. Your local theatre may be running a double or triple feature of the films. Some of the big venues are showing Back to the Future with live orchestra playing Alan Silvestri's memorable score. There are panels and charity galas galore. I'll bet there are even a few high schools putting on their very own "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance.
But I'm not here to look forward. I'm here to look back – to 1985, when Back to the Future was first released. In those halcyon days, I was an impoverished art student living in London. Like my fellow Brits, I frequently had to wait for what felt like a lifetime to see films that had been released the States months earlier – films like Back to the Future, which hit North American screens in July but didn't reach good old Blighty until just before Christmas.
The incredible thing is that, despite my film-geek credentials and voracious appetite for movie news, when the film finally landed I knew almost nothing about it. I'd seen a trailer, but it hadn't stuck in my mind. Spielberg's producer credit was a good sign, but who was this Zemeckis fellow? Oh yeah, the Romancing the Stone guy. Well, that was an okay film, I suppose…