How ‘Better Call Saul’ Brought Back This Iconic ‘Breaking Bad’ Set

by Craig Garrett
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Set decorator Ashley Marsh revealed how the legendary RV meth lab from Breaking Bad was recreated for season 6 of Better Call Saul. Breaking Bad is already considered a classic tv show. It was created by Vince Gilligan and aired on AMC from 2008 to 2013. It chronicles the story of a high school chemistry teacher, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who is diagnosed with terminal stage three lung cancer and seeks to secure his family’s financial future by manufacturing and selling crystal methamphetamine with his former pupil, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). In the first episode, Walt and Jesse convert a run-down 1986 Fleetwood Bounder into a mobile meth lab.

In Breaking Bad season 2,” Walt and Jesse first encounter shady lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). They later join forces with him to assist expand their drug operation. Better Call Saul, which debuted shortly after Breaking Bad concluded, is a prequel. It follows Jimmy McGill (Odenkirk) before he became Walter White’s lawyer. The character slowly transforms from an earnest public defender to the unscrupulous criminal defense attorney that audiences later come to know. Walt and Jesse finally returned in the prequel series Better Call Saul for a sequence with Saul that takes place in their iconic RV.

The painstaking process of recreating the RV set for Better Call Saul

During a recent interview with Variety, Marsh revealed how the mobile meth lab was re-created. Though the original RV was in storage at the studio, it was “completely gutted on the inside.” Breaking Bad always had two RV sets for shooting. One set was an actual working vehicle used for moving shots. Meanwhile, the other set on a soundstage was strictly used for interior filming.

In order to make the new version of the interior set for Better Call Saul Ashley Marsh took thousand of screenshots from the series. Every beaker, tub of methylamine, round-bottom flask, and more had to be replaced. Everything we see on Better Call Saul was entirely new inside the RV. “We had to go back and buy everything,” she told Variety. “We literally just stared at photos until we figured out what these items were.”

To ensure that nothing was overlooked, Marsh started looking for the same Fleetwood Bounder model. This was so they’d have an unaltered interior to acquire the original seats, lights, window coverings, and so on. She met superfan Frank Sandoval who runs a Breaking Bad RV tour that visits various filming locations in Albuquerque. After signing an NDA, Sandoval was delighted to provide some of his parts to Better Call Saul. He was especially excited to hand over the original window coverings which Marsh could not locate.

The set decorator was warned by series creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould about attention to detail. According to them, it was only a matter of time before superfans created videos comparing the original set to the Better Call Saul recreation. “We had to be hyperaware of how right this needed to be,” she said. However, most fans have appreciated the meticulous facsimile. It seems Marsh’s hard work really paid off.

Outsider.com