Warning: Some Breaking Bad spoilers below …
If you’re like me and having a tough time keeping the drool from dribbling out of your mouth while you wait for the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad to air this August, then you may want to consider picking up the recently released Breaking Bad: Alchemy iBook, available exclusively for download from Apple. It’s an awesome treat for fans of the show, whether they’re new to the world of Walter White and company or seasoned vets who feel they already know everything there is to know.
Breaking Bad: Alchemy is divided into chapters that reflect various facets of the show: general production, cinematography, music and story developments, just to name a few. Every “chapter” has a level of interactivity to it, with the story timeline probably being the most interactive of the bunch. This timeline is a great way to refresh yourself on everything that has happened so far on Breaking Bad and comes equipped with a whole slew of little Easter eggs to discover. Some of these hidden details are valuable gems of information, like snippets from audio or text interviews, while others are a throwaway gimmick, like a 3D-rendered graphic of Walter White’s tighty-whiteys that you can spin around and observe from every angle. Granted, it’s a little silly, but those familiar with the show should get a kick out of the reference.
Alchemy contains a wealth of information on the show’s production, which is invaluable to someone who enjoys looking behind the curtain, and it’s really interesting to discover all this material in such a hands-on fashion. You learn how much work went into making certain specific props or how a specific scene became something completely different from what was originally written. One favorite tidbit of info I got from leafing through the iBook was discovering that the scene where Pinkman jumps off of a fence and through the roof of a Port-o-Potty was originally set to feature him facing off against a dog. But due to the stifling cost ($25,000!) of getting the dog and its trainer from Los Angeles to New Mexico to shoot it, something else needed to take its place. That’s how one of the most memorable moments of the entire show came about.
There are a ton of photos, sound bites and interviews to be found within the iBook. There’s a whole section based on the real-world chemistry employed in the show which is an interesting read. Another area focuses on the brutal deaths that have occurred throughout Breaking Bad, complete with video snippets. Honestly, can you ever get enough of seeing a dazed Gus Fring walk out of that room looking like he lost a real life round of Mortal Kombat and suffered a horrific fatality of his own? I think not. Just about every major death is available to watch at your leisure. It’s one of the most enjoyable sections of Alchemy.
Breaking Bad is a triumph of storytelling, acting and general professionalism that I’ve yet to see surpassed. It’s up there with the greatest shows you can name, and it’ll be a sad day when the show finally comes to a close. Breaking Bad: Alchemy is a great way to keep yourself sated until Aug. 11, when the first of the final eight episodes airs. It’s a lot of fun and makes for a great reference guide to the show. If anything, the iBook gives you a deeper appreciation of the series’ intricate nature. You’ll be amazed at just how much went into every single aspect of the production, even if it’s just reading about why specific colors are associated with each individual character’s wardrobe or seeing for yourself how small aesthetic touches on the sets which you probably never noticed upon first viewing are actually there for a reason.
My one hope is that it’s eventually updated to include info culled from the remaining eight episodes. But, in the meantime, Breaking Bad: Alchemy comes fully recommended.