When award-winning film-makers Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis released Back to the Future in 1985, little did they know it was going to become a cult film that would spark one of the greatest trilogies ever!

Starring Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd as time-travellers, this comedy science fiction film uses innovative special effects, non-stop action and an intricate plot to create an inventive, witty and entertaining movie experience that has stood the test of time.

Zemeckis and Bob Gale wrote the script after Gale had been musing over whether he and his father would have been friends, had they attended high school together.

Box office hit

Released on 3rd July 1985, Back to the Future grossed more than $381 million worldwide and became the biggest box office success of the year, winning the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing. It also received five BAFTA nominations, three additional Academy Award nominations and four Golden Globe nominations.

Central to the plot is a stunning DeLorean time machine car, which took Doc Brown 30 years to build after he invented a flux capacitor. He chose a DeLorean DMC-12 as his mode of time travel, as its stainless-steel construction enabled the car and its passengers a smooth passage through time. However, once it was transported back to the ’50s, it was somewhat more difficult to get hold of the plutonium needed to power the time machine – leaving Marty wondering how he was ever going to get back to the future.


Marty manages to track down Doc’s younger self in the 1950s, when his research into time travel was in its early stages. Doc realises the only way of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power for the time machine is to use a bolt of lightning.

A storm is approaching and it’s crucial that Marty is back in the DeLorean in time for a bolt of lightning to strike the clock tower and thus power the time machine. Due to several mishaps along the way, involving his future parents and the unwanted advances of school bully Biff towards his mother, Marty’s future looks doubtful.

Eventually, Marty successfully ensures his parents fall in love – and therefore assures his own future existence. As the storm arrives, will Marty be back in the DeLorean in time for the bolt of lightning to strike the clock tower and thus power the car? When the lightning strikes on cue, with split second timing, the DeLorean roars off up the main street – sending a thankful Marty back to October 1985.

Place in history

Back to the Future became one of the most successful franchises in Universal’s history, leading to two sequels in 1989 and 1990, an animated TV series, comic books, a theme park ride, video games, toys and a clothing range.

In 2007, the US Library of Congress announced the original Back to the Future film would be preserved in the National Film Registry – one of only 25 elite films each year that are historically, culturally or aesthetically significant in popular American culture.

Although being struck by lightning was the aim in Back to the Future, in reality, that’s the last thing anyone wants! Lightning Strike is a professional company installing lightning defence and electrical earthing systems nationwide. With fully-trained engineers who have extensive experience, Lightning Strike Ltd can protect your property from lightning.