‘Breaking Bad’ Creators Say They’d Love To See A Badger / Skinny Pete Spinoff

If you were a fan of Breaking Bad, you’d no doubt know about its prequel/spinoff series, Better Call Saul, which centres around everyone’s favourite dodgy lawyer, Saul Goodman. Currently in its 4th season, I spoke to creators, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, about where the show is heading, other potential spinoffs, and how goddamn hard it must be to remember all of the character details in such a dense and complicated fictional universe.

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Given BCS is dealing with events prior to Breaking Bad, the question of exactly what point between the two timelines the show will end is still fairly unknown, even to Gilligan and Gould, but it’s all part of the process, they say.

“We talk about it a lot,” Gould told PEDESTRIAN.TV. “Saying there’s a plan would mean it was something we’re absolutely determined to stick to, and what we found over the years is that the best thing we can do – which is actually something I learned from Vince – is, you can have all kinds of ideas about where you’re going, but always be willing to throw those ideas away if they don’t feel right or you get a better idea.”

“We’ve talked an awful lot about where this is going and what would be a satisfying way to end it, but I don’t know if I can say we have a final plan,” Gilligan added.

That, of course, brings up the question of overlapping timelines and whether or not we’ll see certain events that happened in Breaking Bad from a new perspective as the two series converge. As Vince told me, “everything’s on the table”.

“I think every idea merits examination and that is certainly one of those ideas that merits close scrutiny,” he said. “You think to yourself, ‘is there something to see from the Breaking Bad era that we haven’t seen?’ Then you think to yourself, ‘is that its own show?’”

The best part about BCS, Gould adds, is that it’s able to travel back and forth in time, which we can see from the snippets of Saul shown living life after the events of Breaking Bad. If there’s something significant that adds to the story, they said, it can be considered.

Being an enormous Breaking Bad/BCS fan myself, I have my own idea for a Breaking Bad spinoff, and it would revolve around the loveable stoners, Badger and Skinny Pete. Luckily for me, the guys are into it.

“I’d watch that myself,” Gilligan said. “Yeah, I’d love to see it. The great thing about that is that they could also be animated,” Gould added. Look, I’m not getting my hopes up, but shit that would be cool, right? On the topic of spinoffs in general, the vibe is very much never say never.

“Well, you never know,” Gilligan said. “I tend to agree, there’s a lot of possible further stories to be told.”

But it also becomes a bit of a personal matter for Gilligan. He’s been working on the Breaking Bad universe for a long time now and there’s plenty of other things he’d like to explore outside of that, so the question of how long he has left in his career is always a factor he needs to keep in mind.

“That enters into my calculus, it always has, always will, I guess. But I’m very heartened to see that people are still interested in these characters,” he said.

Either way, both creators agree there are plenty of stories to be told and so many talented actors that could certainly carry each one. “I think it’s a matter of us, well, a matter of me personally, surviving this show and trying to figure out what comes next,” Gould said.

Funnily enough, the concept of BCS as a spinoff actually started as a joke stemming from the very first time Saul featured in Breaking Bad, which somehow “got willed into existence,” Gilligan told me, but exactly when it became a legitimate undertaking is hard to pin down for both of them.

“It’s a surprisingly hard question to answer because you’re right, it was a bit of a joke,” Gilligan said. “We gradually came to realise that all the best humour has within it a real core of truth, this was a prime example of that because the more we would joke about it the more we thought, ‘man, there’s probably something in this’.” 

“Breaking Bad was still in its final days in terms of post-production and press and whatnot when Peter and I started talking in earnest about the possibility of doing it as a show.”

Treading the line between comedy and drama is something both series do incredibly well, and while season 4 of BCS is certainly starting to bring the show into a grittier place, Gould says one of the funniest moments isn’t far off. “There’s a sequence coming up in an episode a little bit deeper into the season I think is one of the funniest we’ve ever done,” he said. “It’s actually one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on television.”

“But plenty of grit coming too,” Gilligan added. “As Peter said, it’s amazing how elastic this show is because it can go from the craziest, most goofy moments, to the darkest.”

“The truth is that, for better or for worse, we are all over the place,” Gould said. I’d definitely argue for the better.

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While the detail and care in terms of writing for both shows is incredible, each new episode makes it increasingly difficult to keep track of everything that’s going on – or will go on – in the dense universe, which is something that certainly trips both creators up from time to time.

“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve come up with an idea that I get very excited about that involves one of our characters on this show and maybe a character who’s on Breaking Bad and then someone will point out that there is some physical reason, something in the show that tells me that these characters cannot have met, that one of them hasn’t moved to Albuquerque quite yet, or that they meet for the first time on Breaking Bad,” Gould explains.

“We got a lot of folks on staff who keep us honest,” Gilligan added.

WATCH NOW ON Better Call Saul

If you haven’t watched BCS yet, I highly urge you to jump on that immediately. The best part is, it’s a prequel to Breaking Bad, so you don’t need to have watched that first, but you’ll definitely want to after you see its lush universe in action. You can stream it right now exclusively on Stan.