This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the debut of one of the greatest shows in TV history, Breaking Bad. Feeling old yet?
To mark the special anniversary, Esquire conducted some interviews with the cast, who helped develop the show into what it eventually became. A lot of viewers heard about how creator Vince Gilligan’s initial idea was to kill off the character of Jesse Pinkman, but Gilligan recently opened up that he had another character death in mind early on.
Gilligan went on to say that he originally wanted to kill off Hank Schrader, played by Dean Norris. When he decided to keep Jesse’s character alive, he thought that by offing Hank, he would seem ballsy and gain viewer’s attention. He’s happy with the decisions he ended up making, though, because he thinks the show would be shorter and have a much different feel without the always right-around-the-corner possibility of Walter White getting caught by Hank.
Gilligan also has to thank the 2007-08 WGA writer’s strike, which ended up saving him from losing the show’s deal for renewal. He was in New Mexico helping scout locations and doing showrunning things, when he realized they were about to sign for Season 2 and hadn’t gotten scripts together. His writing team in L.A. was working without him. Just when he thought they were in deep waters, the strike happened, which bought him enough time to get his head above water.
I just finished re-watching this show recently, and it’s just as good as when it first aired. It changed the way characters are developed, and it’s one of the best received shows in history.