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Better Call Saul: How long before Breaking Bad is the prequel set?

By Inga Parkel
Michele K.Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

With the forthcoming season of Better Call Saul announcing its final chapter, fans are left wondering how it will bleed into companion show Breaking Bad.

Better Call Saul – which is a prequel to Breaking Bad – follows the humble beginnings of attorney Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) before he began representing Walter White (Bryan Cranston), the notorious chemist-turned-meth dealer.

Ahead of its farewell season – premiering on AMC TV on 18 April in the US and 19 April on Netflix in the UK – one thing that remains ambiguous is the show’s timeline, leaving many to question how many years before Breaking Bad is the spin-off show actually set?

While no definitive answer has been provided, context clues are scattered along the way to offer viewers an estimated answer of roughly six years.

When Breaking Bad’s season one premiered, it introduced White as he celebrated his 50th birthday in 2008. Time moves slowly in the show, as he doesn’t turn 51 until the end of season four.

However, Better Call Saul establishes its first season in the year 2002, when Goodman is financially struggling as a public defender. By the time season five comes to an end, a nine-month time jump brings the storyline to early 2004.

Season six will pick up in 2004, but that still leaves the show a few years ahead of the events in Breaking Bad, when Goodman first met White and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul).

Better Call Saul (Netflix)

Considering the recent announcement that Breaking Bad’s two lead characters, White and Pinkman, are set to make an appearance in the new season, it’s unclear how the writers will introduce them when the chronology isn’t currently aligned.

The first two episodes of Better Call Saul will be released on AMC TV on 18 April in the US and 19 April on Netflix in the UK.

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