If there is a message that is most clearly conveyed by the Back to the future movies is that playing with the past can be dangerous. (If there are two messages, the other is that the children should do everything they can to befriend their local disturbed weirdos, as this generally works well.) Hence, presumably, the anger that has erupted when fans of the franchise noticed that a recent Netflix version of the second film’s series contained some moments of inexplicable censorship. Specifically, he cut off part of the scene from Back to the future II where Marty McFly realizes that his sworn enemy Biff has swapped the cover of his copy of Gray sports almanac on a soft-core porn magazine, thus foiling his hopes of setting the timeline. In addition to denying the public the chance for an extremely sweet titillation of the 1950s, it also removes the moment when Michael J. Fox shouts ” Oh dear? Oh dear?! Which is one of those strange random line readings that have been recorded in our head for the past 20 years, and which is obviously extremely important to preserve.
Either way, screenwriter Bob Gale didn’t have it; once alerted to the strange changes, he informed Netflix, who in turn contacted Universal to swap one version of the film for another according to the spirit of the original film. THR talked to Gale about the confusion, and he revealed that it was really not the streamer’s fault; they apparently received a copy of Universal which “was a foreign version that neither director Robert Zemeckis nor I even knew existed for a country that had a problem with the Oh dear magazine cover, “said Gale. He went on to note that he had asked that this cup be “destroyed” – which is metal – so that such a mixture could not happen again.
And while we’re going to spend the rest of the day trying to figure out which predominantly English-speaking country would have a problem with light porn from the 50s – really, the healthiest and most American of the pornographic ones – we’re at least glad to know that the timeline has again been restored to its proper shape, extremely slightly horny.