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California Cheese commercial

Deep blue sky overhead. Fat clouds. Below them, black and white cows graze the rolling hills. This could possibly be from a California "It's The Cheese" commercial.

This is a description of the original spec script written by Vince Gilligan pitched to AMC and Sony. It differs from the "Pilot" that was eventually aired.

Plot[]

Teaser[]

A pile of cow manure is run over a by a wildly careening RV. The vehicle barges into a cow pasture, scattering the cows about. It crashes into a gully and halts. Walt gets out, wearing only underwear, and records a video to his family. He clutches a chrome pistol and aims it towards police sirens advancing towards him.

  • Overall, the teaser as envisioned was nearly identical to the final cut footage, the only differences are the shot of the manure being run over being replaced with Walt's pants flying through the air and being run over and Walt crashing the RV into a roadside ditch.

Act 1[]

He gets up at 5:02 AM to exercise on the stair stepper. He then goes to the bathroom and masturbates. Skyler serves breakfast for Walt and Walt Jr.. Junior complains that the bacon is not real, but Skyler explains that Walt is watching his cholesterol.

He is teaching a chemistry class when Chad and his girlfriend are causing a distraction. After class, he sits in an empty room and grades quizzes while eating a sandwich. Margaret enters the room and buys a soda. Walt wishes her a happy birthday and she lights up a cigarette, telling him "don't narc." Cut to a car wash: Amir is on the phone with his son, who has apparently quit his job. He orders Walt to go outside. While washing a car, it turns out it belongs to Chad from Chemistry, and his girlfriend calls a friend to tell them she spotted Mr. White at the car wash. Walt drives home while speeding and is fixated at a triple overpass on the highway and drives underneath it.

Walt drives to Pasadena to visit the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) campus and views his old photos. He hears students speaking Chinese around him and faints.

  • Differences:
    • A minor detail about the lack of hot water in the shower was added in the final version.
    • Chad apparently fingers or caresses his girlfriend in class. In response, Walt asks him to stop touching her. In the final version, Chad has a side conversation with her, and Walt tells him to move back to his assigned seat.
    • In the original pilot, he folds up a tie and puts it in the pocket to show his displeasure of being sent to wash cars, but in the final version, he just takes off his coat.
    • In the original pilot, Walt's boss at the car wash is named Amir. In the final version, his boss' name is Bogdan.
    • There is no mention of Walt having done work contributing to the Nobel prize. But there is a visual reference at Caltech to his having been conferred a degree in 1988.
    • In the original pilot, Skyler wants Walt to mow the lawn before he goes to Caltech. In the final version, she wants him to paint the walls of the nursery.
    • The Mars Rover exhibition he wants to see is at Caltech. In the final version, it is at Los Alamos, presumably at the real-life Bradbury Science Museum - Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    • In the original pilot, Walt faints at a café, distressed and surrounded by Chinese-speaking students. In the final version, he faints at the car wash while looking at a woman wearing a tight green dress.
    • The scene with Walt and Margaret is omitted from the final cut. However, there is a brief shot of him doing work in an empty room after class before going to the car wash.
    • A slightly modified version of the scene where Jesse discusses the ingredients he bought was cut from both the TV airing and DVD release of the final pilot but exists as an added extra.

Act 2[]

Walt is in an examination; he gets a call from home and lies about meeting an old professor. The doctors refer to a specialist, Dr. Belknap. A few days later he goes to Dr. Belknap's office and is diagnosed with myeloma. Walt goes to work at the car wash immediately afterwards in the evening. While Amir is talking on the phone in another room, Walt wanders out of the door, is nearly hit by a car, gets in his Sentra and leaves. He drives back to the same overpass from earlier and stares at it "like the monolith from 2001 [A Space Odyssey]." An aerial shot creates the illusion of his vehicle being swallowed by the overpass.

He gets home and Skyler is talking to someone on the phone about check payment. She then scolds him for using the MasterCard for making a purchase while he gets a beer from the fridge. Later that night, Walt and Walt Jr. are watching Scarface, Jr. got the DVD from Uncle Hank. Walt tells Jr. his mother wants them to turn down the volume. They get to the famous scene where Tony says, "Say hello to my little friend," and shoots all the Colombian drug dealers.

Walt takes up Hank's offer to have a ride-along to a D.E.A. raid. They are staked outside of Emilio's house. The agents burst in through a sliding glass door and apprehend Emilio as he tries to flee. Dupree tumbles out of a window only in his underwear as the housewife tosses the rest of his clothes out onto the lawn. He sees Walt in the the truck and gestures for him to be quiet while he runs to his Daytona and drives way, revealing the CAPN COOK license plate.

Later that evening, Walter approaches Dupree at his house and makes his offer to cook methamphetamine with him, threatening to turn him in if he doesn't.

  • Differences:
    • The original pilot does not have an ambulance scene. The view of the ambulance driving over the triple-overpass in the final version is a visual reference to Walt driving home in the original pilot.
    • The scene in which Walt gets various blood tests is omitted in the final version.
    • Walt does not get a diagnosis until he meets Dr. Belknap at a consultation a few days after fainting.
    • In the original pilot, Walt does not explicitly quit his job when he walks off on his shift. In the final version, he does, saying, "Fuck you! AND YOUR EYEBROWS!!" to Bogdan.
    • In the final version, Skyler berates Walt for using their Mastercard after getting his diagnosis.
    • The scene with Walt and Jr. watching Scarface is omitted in the final version. However, they can be seen watching the film in "Hazard Pay".
    • In the original pilot, Walt is sitting alone at the kitchen table in the morning when he calls Hank, asking if he go on a ride-along with the DEA. The final version added the scene where Walt throws lit matches into a pool before calling Hank.
    • The final version has more banter between Steven Gomez and Hank while they stake out Emilio's cook spot.
      • Afterwards, there is an additional detail about Hank once watching Jeopardy! with him, and a detail about two companies recruiting Walt when he was in college.
    • In the original pilot, the DEA operatives are described as wearing "chemical suits," referred to as "moon suits" by Hank, as if they were in a Sci-Fi movie. In the final version, they wear standard combat uniforms with gas masks.
    • The original pilot has extra dialogue when Dupree tells Walt not to buy all of his supplies at the same store.
      • This was reused in "Over" with Walt telling an amateur meth cook instead.
    • The original pilot has an extra interaction with the bank teller when Walt withdraws the cash.

Act 3[]

Skyler and Marie discuss the random home pieces Skyler is selling. Walt is gathering glassware for his first cook with Dupree when Margaret approaches him and invites him to get a drink after work. He declines, giving the excuse of having a second job. When Margaret leaves he heaves the large box of stolen glassware into his car.

Walt shows Dupree the glassware he bought, and corrects him after Dupree says he wants to cook in an Erlenmeyer flask. Dupree in turn corrects Walt when he reveals he bought all the chemicals and supplies from the same store. They discuss cooking locations and agree that they will use an RV which they can buy from one of Jesse's associates.

Walt goes to the "Ontario Teacher's Credit Union" and withdraws $7,000 in cash. The teller asks if he wants to reconsider, telling him he could qualify for a home equity loan, to which Walt tells her he has two. The teller reminds him that he will be withdrawing all the principal in his pension fund. Out in the parking lot

Walt confronts jocks bullying his son at a department store.

  • Differences:
    • In the original pilot, Walt has a conversation with the bank teller.
    • The final version includes a detail about Skyler writing short stories and a novel.

Act 4[]

  • Differences:
    • In the original pilot, Emilio simply tosses his cigarette out of the window when Walt asks him to put it out. In the final version, Emilio puffs smoke in Walt's face before tossing it out of the window.
    • In the original pilot, Walt tries to figure out how to disable the safety. It takes him so long to do so that the sirens are revealed to be fire engines.
    • In the original pilot, he washes the chemicals off the cash in the sink when he gets home.

List of Differences[]

  • The original pilot is set in Ontario and Riverside, California. The final version is set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This change was made when the state of New Mexico offered a tax rebate on production.
  • The detail about Emilio being Asian is added in the final version when half-Mexican, half-Japanese actor John Koyama was cast as Emilio.
  • The first references to Walt's previous scientific achievements are revealed in his trip to Caltech, not while exercising on the stair stepper in the morning.
  • In the original pilot, Jesse Pinkman's name is Marion Alan Dupree, referred to by his surname.
  • The original pilot takes place on Margaret's birthday, rather than Walt's. However, the White family goes out to eat at Applebee's, where they see Hank's DEA raid on TV.
  • In the original pilot, Walt is only 40 years old. In the final version, he is 50 years old per AMC's request.
1991 Nissan sentra

1991 Nissan Sentra

  • In the original pilot, Walt drives a white 1991 Nissan Sentra. In the final version, he drives a fern green 2004 Pontiac Aztek.
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