Vince Gilligan Reveals How 'Breaking Bad' Could Have Been Even Darker (SPOILERS)

Breaking Bad season 5

If you had to name, off the top of your head, the darkest series on television, what would you pick? 

Chances are you'd probably point to AMC's 'Breaking Bad,' the tense drama about a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher's slow descent into moral decay as a drug-cooking crime lord. And with good reason: 'Breaking Bad' has provided us with some incredibly bleak television. After all, it is about one man slowly losing everything that made him good. 

But if there's one moment that served as a turning point for the character of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), it might have been his decision to watch Jesse's girlfriend Jane choke to death after a drug overdose. Walter's decision to passively let her die is (arguably, of course) one of his first truly 'evil' acts, and one of the first major markers of the character's descent. 

It also could have been a lot darker, according to showrunner Vince Gilligan. 

At the Edinburgh Film Festival earlier this week, Gilligan spoke to interviewer Charlie Brooker, to whom he revealed his original, more active vision for the scene. In his original version, Walt "kills her on purpose," giving Jane a second dose of heroin to cause an overdose. This was voted down by his writing staff who, according to Gilligan, "told me I was drunk at that point." 

Of course, it's not like the ultimate version of the scene was a happy one. It still caused some problems with the network and the studio: "That was the moment AMC and Sony called me up and said, this one makes us nervous. We had a big phone discussion about it." Ultimately, though, the writers' vision won out. 

'Breaking Bad' will return with more darkness with the episode "Confessions," this Sunday at 9/8c on AMC. 

- Vince Gilligan
- Breaking Bad
- amc

Written by: mcpherson
Aug 23rd, 2013, 9:36 pm

Images courtesy of AMC


Message Posted On Sep 18th, 2013, 1:44 pm
The interesting part about the version the writers chose versus Vince's version is the SLOW descent of Walt's morality- and that it the main focal point of his character. Sure, he could have maliciously injected Jane with another dose of heroin, but that defeats the ultimate purpose of moral decay by "baby steps" if you will versus a giant leap into evil. Some may argue although Walt doesn't actually kill Jane, he has the opportunity to save her life. However, at that point one must ask, what moral obligation, if any, is Walt required to act under? The eerie and chilling part is Walt wrestling with, and questioning what, if any, moral obligation he has to intervene and save Jane. Is he evil solely by his in-actions? And is he REALLY obligated to intervene (he showed up and witnessed the OD by coincidence after all.) You can see the moral dilemma he fights within himself by the facial expressions he makes. He DECIDED he was not OBLIGATED under any moral code to save Jane and therefore JUSTIFIED his failure to act. Walter White's character comes off as the slow decline of his moral code, however many of his decision are utilitarian because he seeks the best end result for everyone involved. -Just a thought.

Level 1
Since: 24/Aug/13
Message Posted On Aug 24th, 2013, 4:33 pm

Loving everything Breaking Bad is doing, makes you wonder what other shows may have been if they were left to the writers vision and were given a chance to build like BrBa.


Message Posted On Aug 24th, 2013, 1:22 am
It is funny how we get great TV when the writers are allowed to do their jobs. You'd think a lesson would be learned from that. I too was late to the game in watching this ground-breaking show. Move over Dexter.

Message Posted On Aug 23rd, 2013, 11:21 pm
<sigh> another one of those "I meant to watch it series. I really did .... for the past 5 years :(". Maybe one day ...

Level 1 (98%)
Since: 01/Mar/12
Message Posted On Aug 23rd, 2013, 9:38 pm

Jesus Vince.... talk about taking darkness to a whole new level...

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