Jan. 20, 2008
45 min.
AMC TV Network

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Breaking Bad tv show photo

Breaking Bad

Meet Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher sleepwalking through life when, boom, a terminal cancer diagnosis changes everything. Liberates him. Empowers him to use his chemistry skills anew to finance his family's future.

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Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • Walt's car is a well-used 2003 Pontiac Aztek, repainted a pale non-factory dull green. The windshield was broken and replaced several times due to catastrophes both great and small, all traceable to Walt's descent into the drug world. The Aztek was widely derided as ugly, overpriced, and low- quality. It never met sales quotas, and as been blamed for the death of the Pontiac brand. However, its versatility won it a small, loyal following. The show's production kept at least 2 Azteks equipped for different filming situations.
  • RJ Mitte has cerebral palsy in real life. His case is much milder than Walt Junior's. He had to learn to walk with crutches and slow down his speech to play the part.
  • SPOILER: Characters and their values are represented by the colors they wear. Skyler usually wears blue. Jesse wears yellow and red; plus grey when he was in recovery. Walter wears green because he is stuck between his family and the drug trade. The birth of Walt's daughter introduces pink to the spectrum. The DEA agents, Hank and Gomez, wear orange, representing police. Marie is usually in purple, like many of the other doctors on the show. Jane, the recovering heroin addict, wears black.
  • The series title is spelled using the chemical symbols for bromine (Br), and barium (Ba). Chemical symbols from the periodic table also appear in every name (except the one of creator Vince Gilligan) in the opening credits: a single capital letter, or pair of letters, with only the first letter capitalized (in line with scientific convention), shown in a differing color.
  • When characters on the show are smoking meth, they are actually smoking sugar or rock candy but do not inhale.
  • Bryan Cranston (Walter), Anna Gunn (Skyler) and Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman) have guest starred in "Seinfeld" (1989). Anna played Jerry's girlfriend in "Seinfeld" (1989) {The Glasses (#5.3)}. Bryan made his first appearance as Dr. Tim Whatley, a dentist whose conversion to Judaism annoys Jerry when he realizes Tim only converted so he could tell Jewish-themed jokes, a year later, in "Seinfeld" (1989) {The Mom and Pop Store (#6.8)}. Bob played Ben Galvant in "Seinfeld" (1989) {The Abstinence (#8.9)}; Elaine is dating Ben because she thinks he is a doctor, but Ben reveals he hasn't passed his medical boards yet and proves inept in a real-life health crisis. Once Ben does become a doctor, he breaks up with Elaine and explains, Saul Goodman-style, that the point of becoming a doctor is to end up dating someone who was out of his league before he became one. Larry Hankin appeared on "Seinfeld" (1989) too and was co-creator Larry David's first choice to play Kramer. Other "Breaking Bad" actors who appeared on "Seinfeld" (1989): Nigel Gibbs, Mark Harelik and Jessica Hecht.
  • Walter White's alias, Heisenberg, is a tribute to Werner Heisenberg, who formulated the uncertainty principle, which states that it is impossible to determine simultaneously both the position and velocity of an electron or any other particle with any great degree of accuracy or certainty.
  • In the beginning of each episode, the chemical formula C10H15N along with the number 149.24 and the word "Meth" can be seen just before the title Breaking Bad appears. C10H15N is the formula for methamphetamine, which has the molecular weight of 149.24.
  • Vince Gilligan had already cast Bryan Cranston against his usual type in "The X Files" (1993) {Drive (#6.2)}. Cranston played a white supremacist with an infection that makes his head explode if his car's speed dips below 50 miles per hour. Gilligan has said their collaboration convinced him that Cranston was the only actor who could portray Walter White.
  • Bryan Cranston stated in an interview that the term "breaking bad" is a southern colloquialism, referring to someone who has taken a turn off the path of the straight and narrow. The lapse could last for a day or a lifetime.
  • Betsy Brandt was pregnant during season two. Whenever she reached the point in the pregnancy that Skyler was supposed to be, the producers would do pick-up shots with her as the fake bare belly on Anna Gunn.
  • Costars Bryan Cranston, Matt Jones (XLVIII), and Bob Odenkirk have all appeared in How I Met Your Mother.
  • Co-stars Bryan Cranston and Dean Norris both appeared in Little Miss Sunshine, which also took place in Albuquerque.
  • Several actors from this series have made guest appearances on David E. Kelley's legal drama The Practice, all dissimilar to their character's on Breaking Bad: Anna Gunn played a district attorney who was not keen on breaking the law; Giancarlo Esposito played an African American who was wrongly accused of murder; Mark Margolis played an Italian American wrongly accused of being a mobster.
  • 10 actors cast on the show have previously appeared in the Vince Gilligan produced The X-Files. Bryan Cranston in "The X Files" (1993) {Drive (#6.2)}, Aaron Paul in "The X Files" (1993) {Lord of the Flies (#9.5)}, Dean Norris in "The X Files" (1993) {F. Emasculata (#2.22)}, Michael Shamus Wiles in "The End" (Season 5) and "En Ami" (Season 7), Raymond Cruz in "The X Files" (1993) {El Mundo Gira (#4.11)}, Javier Grajeda in _Tithonus_, Danny Trejo in "The X Files" (1993) {Redrum (#8.6)}, Dale Dickey in _Existence_, Dan Desmond in "The X Files" (1993) {Salvage (#8.9)}, and John Koyama who served as a stuntman on The X-Files.
  • Steven Bauer (Don Eladio) and Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) who play enemies in the show, previously starred together in the show South Beach, the movie Doing Hard Time (2004) (V) and in a production of the play "Balm in Gilead" which also starred Breaking Bad actor Mark Margolis (Hector Salamanca). Bauer and Margolis also acted alongside one another in another drug-related project Scarface.
  • Jonathan Banks and Steven Bauer who both play criminals in the show, played partners working for the New York District Attorney's Office to investigate the drug underworld in the show Wiseguy.
  • On the Breaking Bad podcast, Creator Vince Gilligan revealed that Mark Margolis was initially intended to become the main antagonist from Season 3 on. However, they eventually decided to make Giancarlo Esposito the series' main antagonist instead.
  • In an interview, Vince Gilligan admitted that the writer's strike that shortened season 1 ended up benefiting the show. He'd planned for Walt's evil side to emerge in a shocking season finale. The strike led him to write the evolution much more gradually.
  • In 2005, after Showtime, TNT, and HBO rejected the initial pitch for the series, FX stepped in and immediately began development on the pilot. They eventually passed on the project in favor of the Courteney Cox show Dirt, in a bid to draw more female viewers. According to Vince Gilligan, HBO showed no interest even on the pitch. TNT loved the idea, but said that they couldn't air a show with a crystal meth dealer as the central character.
  • Sony and AMC were initially reluctant to cast Bryan Cranston because of his previous comedic roles. They approached John Cusack and Matthew Broderick for the role of Walter White. When they both declined, Vince Gilligan was able to cast Cranston.
  • Danny Trejo (Tortuga), Raymond Cruz (Tuco), Michael Bofshever (Mr. Pinkman) and Geoffrey Rivas (Police Officer) have all appeared in the gang classic Bound by Honor. In one episode, Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) says the words, "Sangre Por Sangre" to Mark Margolis (Tio Salamanca), which is the Spanish title for the film.
  • Jonathan Banks (Mike) played in Gremlins, while Dean Norris (Hank) appeared in the sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
  • Samuel L. Jackson showed up unannounced during filming on the Pollos Hermanos set one day, dressed in his Nick Fury outfit from The Avengers. Both productions were happening on the same studio lot, and Jackson wanted to be an extra during the scene being filmed. The producers denied his request to appear as Nick Fury on the show.
  • SPOILER: According to Dean Norris, while shooting the first half of season 5 he got a job offer to play a leading part in a sitcom. Norris, knowing the series was ending and thinking about providing for his family, suggested to Vince Gilligan the idea of killing Hank in those first eight episodes, arguing it would be shocking and unexpected. Gilligan refused, saying he needed Hank for the second half of the season. Hank ended up getting killed in one of the last episodes.
  • Gus Fring was originally supposed to appear in only three or four episodes. Giancarlo Esposito was asked to return for seven episodes in season three. Esposito refused to return unless he could appear in more episodes. He ended up appearing in 11 episodes in the third season.
  • According to Giancarlo Esposito, he based his performance as Gus Fring on Edward James Olmos's performance as Lt. Martin Castillo in Miami Vice. He noticed that Olmos was very quiet and still but suggested an inner turmoil. Esposito guest starred on that series three times.
  • A main plot point is Walt as a chemistry genius.Marius Stan, who plays Bogdan, is a real-life chemistry genius. He has a PhD in Chemistry, and still works in the field. This show was his first foray into acting.
  • Bryan Cranston has a Breaking Bad tattoo on his ring finger.
  • During an August 2013 interview with Terry Gross on "Fresh Air," Bob Odenkirk said that when he first heard a description of Saul Goodman, he told Vince Gilligan that he might not be the best choice for the role because he isn't Jewish. Gilligan told him that Goodman is a fake last name that the character adopted because he thought it sounded stereotypically Jewish. Odenkirk also told Gross that Goodman's odd hairstyle, a thinning combover-mullet combination, was his idea.

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