When Back to the Future III
premiered in 1990 Universal Studios
decided to produce an original 30-minute "documentary" that answered some of the most asked questions regarding the Back to the Future Trilogy
. Hosted by former teen heart-throb Kirk Cameron
, the show aired once in syndication in 1990 and was included on the Back to the Future III
DVD that was released in December 2002.
The show begins as Kirk drives into the courthouse square area of Hill Valley 1885 in a DeLorean - not the actual DeLorean time machine, however, just a plain standard issue DeLorean - where he steps onto the street occupied by child actors playing the roles of cowboys and wild west citizens. He explains that he'll be answering viewer mail sent to him which is really strange because all of the questions are obviously planted and to my knowledge there was never an address to actually send letters to. The best example of how these questions were not from actual people is a letter from a historian at a university who asks if history really does repeat itself. That's right, we're supposed to believe that a college professor has written to a movie studio to ask about historical theory. The questions that are answered include how the special effects behind hoverboards work and how time travel works in the films. The notable thing about this show is that it's the first time deleted scenes from the films were shown to the general public. These scenes would not be seen again until the 2002 DVD release of the trilogy.
The acting in this special is subpar with the background extras seemingly reading their lines straight off the cue cards. None of the actual BTTF talent (such as Michael J. Fox or Christopher Lloyd) appear in the show (save for taped interviews and movie clips), although the credits do list producer/writer Bob Gale as one of the executive producers. One presumes that his involvement was minimal. At least I certainly hope it was minimal. Please let it be minimal!