Spurious rumours are circulating the internet this week that Bryan Cranston's Walter White will feature in Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul in "non-gimmicky" fashion, but it's hard to see how this will be achievable.
According to HollywoodLife.com (that bastion of truth): "there is going to be something with Walter White" in the AMC show.
"They won’t do it as a gimmick, it will actually mean something when they do it,” their source goes on to explain. "Definitely expect the return of Walter White in some way, shape or form in the new show."
The rumours should be taken with a whole vat of salt, but if true will probably come as disappointing news to most fans.
Walter White was an unforgettable character and Bryan Cranston gave a masterful performance in the role, but his story is over.
As tempting as it is to see him don that pork pie hat once more, any appearance of Walt would feel gratuitous, even if just in flash-forward.
Better Call Saul needs to find its own identity away from Breaking Bad too, and get us invested in the lawyer's back story, not trade off the magic of his future client.
There'll already be a touch of BB nostalgia for fans in there anyway in the form of Mike Ehrmantraut, who has been confirmed for a return.
26 Netflix shows you need to watch
26 Netflix shows you need to watch
1/6 Breaking Bad / Talking Bad
If 37 of your friends haven't convinced you to watch this masterpiece by now, I'm not going to be able to. If not the best TV series of all time then certainly the most entertaining, Breaking Bad tells the story of a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who throws his hand in and decides to cook crystal meth instead. If you're a devout fan and missing the series, its sister discussion show Talking Bad is also on Netflix and may be worth checking out, if just to reminisce on the weekly theorising that gripped us.
2/6 Orange is the New Black
Taylor Schilling plays a middle class woman who is forced to trade her comfortable New York apartment and Mad Men boxsets for a tough, tyrannically-run women's prison, but it’s the supporting cast you'll stick around for. As well as being very funny, OITNB packs an emotional punch as you learn how the rest of the Litchfield inmates came to be incarcerated, challenging your preconceptions of them. Season 1 is up now, and season 2 is right around the corner (arrives 6 June).
3/6 Trailer Park Boys
A seven season micro-budget mockumentary might sound like hard work, but actually you'll find yourself chomping your way through this hidden gem in no time. It centres on the recidivists and down and outs of a Canadian trailer park, whose daily struggles include scraping enough money together to buy smokes, repelling cats who piss on their weed plants and trying not to pass out drunk in the street. You'll instantly feel bonded to protagonists Julian and Ricky, while their neighbour Bubbles is comedy gold. Each episode is only 20 minutes, get binging.
4/6 Louie (US only)
Start by watching Louis C.K's stand-up Live at the Beacon Theater (also on Netflix) then plough on into this series. It sees the comedian play a semi-autobiographical version of himself gigging, raising his two kids and trying to cope with the world of dating far later in life than he expected to. It doesn't pack a high laughs-per-minute ratio, but that's not really what he's going for in this series. It's more Woody Allen territory really (indeed he went on to star in Blue Jasmine last year), and has a surprising emotional depth. Season 2 is shaky, but worth sticking through for season 3 which is brilliant and incredibly thoughtful.
5/6 House of Cards
For too long US political dramas were all flags slowly unfurling in the wind to bugle calls and overblown final-hour speeches, but this Netflix original takes a much dimmer view of Washington. Kevin Spacey plays conniving congressman Frank Underwood, who will walk over anyone's dead body (maybe literally?) to get into power. Season 2 is even better than the first and watching it is like sitting down to eat a 16oz steak, so dense is the political plotting.
6/6 Arrested Development
Living in a pre-fab show house with his shallow, avaricious family, Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) is surrounded by fakery. When patriarch George goes to prison Michael must take charge of the family business, which turns out to be something of a poisoned chalice. Very funny and very innovative, though the latest season, a half-Netflix original, may be too meta and ambitious for its own good.
As the camera pulled away from his lifeless face, Walt's fate looked pretty unequivocal at the end of Breaking Bad, but Cranston couldn't resist stoking "He's still alive!" debates last week when he told CNN: "I don’t know. You never saw bags zip up or anything, or anybody say… you know.”
He added of the prospect of more Breaking Bad: "Never say never."
Vince Gilligan, if you're reading this, please don't do a film.