I may have only got into Breaking Bad a few weeks before the final episode but that didn't stop me binging on the entire lot in just two weeks and when it ended a massive Breaking Bad shaped hole was left in my TV viewing.
Then in December 2013 it was announced that Vince Gilligan, together with Peter Gould were creating a prequel to Breaking Bad called Better Call Saul, and now over a year later, the first episode has finally arrived.
If you were a fan of Breaking Bad, the phrase "Better call Saul" will be all too familiar to you as the phrase small-time lawyer Saul Goodman used to get business. The series is set in 2002, seven years before we see Saul in Breaking Bad. Do you have to have seen Breaking Bad to enjoy Better Call Saul? I don't think so, but if you do you will enjoy the many nice nods to Breaking Bad, that begin right from the first episode.
As with any prequel, or indeed sequel, there's always the worry that it won't live up to expectations. That it'll ruin what was a beautiful thing. Having now seen the first episode of Better Call Saul, I'm pretty confident that we have nothing to worry about here.
For me, the tone was perfect. The style was similar, without trying to copy that of Breaking Bad and without trying too hard. Bob Odenkirk, who plays Saul Goodman, although at the start he is known as Jimmy McGill, is fantastic. He always has been of course, but here he takes centre stage and proves he's more than capable to drive his own series.
What's great of course is that we already know how Saul's story ends so it's a real treat to be able to explore the past of one of the standout characters from the iconic series and learn more about the actions that drove him to what we already know.
For me, the best part of the first episode happened in the final few seconds, so of course I can't reveal what it was, but I can say that the reason I enjoyed it so much was because I am a fan of Breaking Bad the arrival of a certain familiar character filled me with joy... and no, it wasn't Walter White.
So there we have it, I can't wait to see how the rest of the series pans out, but I have every faith in Gilligan and Gould that it will continue as brilliantly as it started. It's authentic, it's believable and a feel treat for Breaking Bad fans the world over.