While watching the season two opener of Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, you were probably struck by the surprise back-pedalling from last year’s cliffhanger, the heartwarming romance between Jimmy and Kim or simply the fantastic central performance from Bob Odenkirk.
But you may not have spend too much time wondering why the title card for the series – which always displays the words “Better Call Saul” over guitar music and an image of Jimmy McGill’s future life as Saul Goodman – kept flashing black and white, as you can see below.
We wanted to check that it wasn’t just a problem with our new TV, so we put the question to the series’ co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. Was this a conscious decision? And does it relate to the “present day” scenes of Jimmy/Saul set after Breaking Bad, which also appear in the same monochrome?
“Good! Glad you noticed that! We thought it was quite subtle,” Gilligan told us. “See I love this, we never go wrong assuming the audience is smarter than we are, we never do.”
OK, so it was intentional – but what does it mean? Could we be seeing more of present-day Saul in his depressing life as a Cinnabon manager (glimpsed so far only in the premiere episodes of each season)?
“In our minds it’s somewhat metaphoric,” Gilligan said. “Like not to get too deep into it but I’ll just say there is on some level, in our minds a connection to the black and white of the present era.
“Our original intention was to have a whole new series of images and have different images for every single episode no matter how many that might turn out to be, and we kind of ran out of bandwidth.
“We were sat down and thought ‘what other images can we have?’ and we were coming up dry, and then we thought of this idea. So yes, you’re very astute.”
In other words we could very well be seeing more of the fallout from Breaking Bad this year, and we just can’t wait. Roll on more episodes!
Better Call Saul season 2, episode 1 is streaming on Netflix UK now