I enjoyed reading William Shakespeare's Star Wars Episode IV: Verily, a New Hope by Ian Doescher a few years back, and thought to myself, what else could be Shakespearised? The obvious answer seemed to be Back to the Future.
I wrote a Shakespearian version of the opening scene and, rather pleased with it, sent a query to the publishers of Ian Doescher's books, only to discover he was already working on the same idea. His book was later published as Get Thee back to the Future, and my opening scene remained languishing on my computer.
I rediscovered it again today and decided I may as well post it here instead.
William Shakespeare’s Returneth to the Future
By Gareth D Jones
DOC BROWN, a scientist
MARTY MCFLY, his friend, a high school student
In Doc Brown’s house.
CHORUS A house quite startling in its clutter’d mess,
In fair Hill Valley where we lay our scene,
Is where Doc Brown doth genius confess
And tinker with both time and time machine.
A vast array of clocks all march in time,
In harmony they start their daily task
And trigger automation so sublime,
So that on time Doc Brown may break his fast.
But for this feast of food so skilful made,
Of coffee, egg and toast on which to dine,
There is nobody home, no table laid,
Not man, nor beast, the loyal dog Einstein.
And in amongst this wonder of cuisine,
The TV tuned in to a sombre scene:
NEWSCASTER A theft of rare plutonium, we hear
Hath taken place and causes us much fear
Foul terrorists from Libya were blamed,
Yet now ‘tis but an error, it is claimed.
Enter MARTY MCFLY.
MARTY Oh Doc! Doc Brown! Art thou at home,
What is that stench, that overwhelming smell?
'Tis Einstein’s food upon the kitchen floor,
A mess the mutt will relish, that’s for sure.
I know not where the Doctor can be found,
But while I'm here I'll try out this new sound.
I'll turn the amps up, all the dials to ten
And my guitar I will plug in, and then
With plectrum twixt my fingers I will strum...
[Marty is flung across the room.
That sound! So loud! For hours my ears will hum!
[ A telephone rings.
DOC BROWN [On the phone:] Young Marty, is that you my faithful friend?
MARTY Hey Doc, hey Doc, where art thou this fine day?
DOC BROWN Pray canst thou meet me at the Twin Pines Mall?
Tonight at one fifteen and there I shall
Reveal a major breakthrough I have made
For which I’ll need assistance of first grade.
MARTY But wait a moment, one fifteen you say?
In early morn, before the light of day?
O Doc, what’s going on? Where hast thou been
All week? And what of Einstein? Hast thou seen?
DOC BROWN Indeed he is right here along with me.
MARTY Thou left thine apparatus on all week.
DOC BROWN My apparatus, Marty, brings to mind
Thou best had not hook up the speaker grand,
Mayhap there could be caused an overload.
MARTY Advice I’m sure that will be helpful, aye.
DOC BROWN Until tonight then, prithee don’t forget,
At Twin Pines Mall at one fifteen be set.
Are all my clocks a-chiming in accord?
MARTY Yea verily, ‘tis eight o’clock precise.
DOC BROWN Ah, perfect! My experiment hath worked.
For five minutes and twenty they have shirked.
MARTY O wait a minute, wait a minute, Doc!
Thou meanst it’s twenty-five past eight o’clock?
DOC BROWN Precisely, Marty, that is what I mean.
MARTY Ye gads! I’m late for school, I must away!
[Exit Marty, on a skateboard.
CHORUS: And so on wheeléd board young Marty flies,
With aid of passing carriages he speeds,
A poster of Mayor Wilson he espies,
En route to tend to his scholastic needs.