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Breaking Bad Wiki

Deep blue sky overhead. Fat, scuddy clouds. Below them, black and white cows graze the rolling hills. This could be one of those California "It's The Cheese" commercials

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



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, dressed only his whitey-tighties 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 obvious difference being the shot of the manure being run over was replaced with Walt's pants flying through the air and being run over.

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 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 Chinese students speaking around him and faints.

  • Differences:
    • A minor detail about there being no hot water in the shower was added in the final Pilot.
    • Chad is apparently fingering or caressing his girlfriend in class. Walt asks him to stop touching her.
    • In the original pilot, he folds up a tie and puts it in the pocket to show his displeasure at being sent to wash cars, but in the final version he just takes off his coat.
    • There's no mention of his having done work contributing to the Nobel prize. but a visual reference at Caltech to his having been conferred a degree in 1988.
    • In the original, Skyler wants Walt to mow the lawn before he goes to CalTech. In the final, it's painting the walls of the nursery.
    • The Mars Rover exhibition he wants to see is a CalTech, whereas in the final version it is at Los Alamos, presumably the real life Bradbury Science Museum - Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    • When he faints he is surrounded by Chinese-speaking students at a cafe, which distresses him. In the final version he is at the car wash and sees a woman wearing a tight green dress.
    • The scene with Walt and Margaret doesn't exist in the final cut, although there is a brief shot of him doing work in an empty room after class before going to the car wash. Perhaps there was deleted footage of his interaction with someone.
    • A slightly modified version of the scene where Jesse discusses the ingredients he bought was cut from both the TV airing and DVD release 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]" Gilligan gives instruction for an aerial shot that creates the illusion of his vehicle being swallowed by the overpasses.

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 has no ambulance scene. The view of the ambulance driving over the triple-overpass is a visual reference to the original pilot.
    • The scene with Walt getting various blood tests was cut from the final.
    • Walt doesn't get a diagnosis until he meets Dr. Belknap at a consultation few days his fainting.
    • In the original, Walt doesn't explicitly quit his job when he walks off on his shift. Obviously with Marius Stan haven't not been cast as Bogdan yet, he could haven't said "Fuck you and your eyebrows"
    • The scene with Skyler berating Walt for using their Master Card was directly after getting his diagnosis for the final version.
    • The scene with Walt and Jr. watching Scarface was omitted in the final version, however it appears nearly verbatim in Season 5 Episode 3, "Hazard Pay".
    • In the original, Walt is sitting alone at the kitchen table in the morning when he calls Hank for the ride-along. The final version added the iconic scene where he throws lit matches into a pool before calling Hank.
    • The final version has more banter between Steven Gomez and Hank while they're staking out Emilio's cookspot.
      • However 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 original script describes DEA operatives as wearing "chemical suits" as if they were in a SciFi movie, "moon suits" as Hank calls them. They seem to wear standard body armor in the final.
    • The original has extra dialogue where Dupree tells Walt not to buy all of his supplies at the same store.
    • The original has an extra interaction with the bank teller when he 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:
    • The original has a conversation with the Bank teller.
    • The final version includes a detail about Skyler writing short stories and a novel.

Act 4

  • Differences:
    • When Walt asks Emilio to put out his cigarette, Emilio just tosses it out the window. In the final version he puffs smoke in Walt's face before tossing it out the window.
    • The original says Walt is trying to figure out how to disable the safety and it takes long enough the sirens are revealed to be fire engines.
    • In the original, he washes the chemicals off the cash in the sink when he gets home.

List of differences

1991 Nissan sentra.jpg

  • The pilot is set in Ontario and Riverside, California
  • The detail about Emilio being Asian wasn't included until they cast half-Mexican, half-Japanese actor John Koyama in the role
  • The first references to Walt's previous scientific achievements is revealed in his trip to Caltech, not while exercising on the stair stepper in the morning
  • Jesse Pinkman is "Marion Alan Dupree," and he usually goes by just "Dupree"
  • It isn't Walt's birthday, however the family goes out to eat at Applebee's when they see Hank's DEA raid on TV
    • However it is Margaret's birthday.
  • Walter is only 40 in the spec script compared to 50 in the aired pilot.