One of the great things about Breaking Bad was how perfect the cars were for every character. We just learned that that perfection is going to carry on in AMC’s prequel/spinoff Better Call Saul, since the transportation coordinator is the same guy who found all those great cars in the original show.
We’re just a few weeks away from the two-night premiere of Better Call Saul on February 8 and 9, 2015. We got in touch with the transportation coordinator, Dennis Milliken, to find out what we could about the new show, and how much the cars are going to play a part in the upcoming series.
“The biggest thing is that ‘Saul’ is really ‘Jimmy,'” says Milliken, referring to the plotline that series creator Vince Gilligan has discussed in interviews leading up to the premiere. Indeed, the new series takes place six years before Saul Goodman and Walter White meet, and the “Jimmy” Milliken is referring to is Jimmy McGill. Based on the trailers, it appears as if McGill and his father are partners in a big-time (for Albuquerque) law firm, and there’s some eventual falling out, leading Jimmy McGill into the seedy underworld of ambulance chasing.
“Before his “Saul” days he drove a piece of crap,” says Milliken. That’s clear in a few of the trailers AMC has been running in the months leading up to the premiere, with Saul behind the wheel of the most ironically named car in history, the Suzuki Esteem.
“It’s painted yellow with one red door,” says Milliken. “Like Breaking Bad before season 5, all the cars were old and somewhat crappy.”
In Breaking Bad, Milliken was charged with finding all the cars that appear in the show, and each and every one seem to fit perfectly with the characters who drive them. Walter’s Pontiac Aztec became an icon, along with the Fleetwood Bounder motorhome, Jesse Pinkman’s Toyota Tercel 4WD wagon, and Mike Ehrmentraut’s Chrysler Fifth Avenue.
Based on the trailers and sneak previews, Mike is going to play a central role, but in the early clips, he’s a down-and-out parking attendant. Since the M-Bodied Fifth Avenue couldn’t have been any older than a 1989, and the timeline Vince Gilligan talked about was “half a decade before Saul and Walter met,” it’s conceivable that Mike could be driving the same car, since it would’ve been at least 16 years old when the estimated Better Call Saul timeline begins.
There’s also a glimpse of something super cool: in a production still, Bob Odenkirk is standing with Vince Gilligan and co-creator Peter Gould are standing in front of a 1967 Pontiac Bonneville with eight-lug wheels a “428” callout on the front fender. It’ll be interesting to see if that car makes an appearance.
“Our goal was always to try to give Vince what he wanted for a character and to never disappoint him,” Milliken said the last time we talked, right around the beginning of the final season of Breaking Bad. “While many of the cars that made it on screen came from my input or the input of my department, all decisions that lead to what ended up on the screen was 100% Vince. It didn’t matter what it was: Cars, Props, Sets, Wardrobe, Music, you name it, Vince was instrumental [in] it being on the screen. I have unlimited respect and admiration for him and for his total involvement on the project.”
To learn more about Dennis Milliken and his career as a transportation coordinator, click on over to BoldRide, which ran a viewers guide to the cars of Breaking Bad.