A vintage take on “Better Call Saul”

“Better Call Saul” was always going to be somewhat of a risk: taking a relatively minor character from one of America’s most-loved television shows and giving him centre-stage in his very own prequel. The end of “Breaking Bad” left behind some rather gigantic shoes to fill, with the show having entered the Guinness World Records as the most critically acclaimed of all time. For those of us suffering withdrawal symptoms after the 2013 finale, the return of Saul Goodman to our screens came highly anticipated. In the UK, ‘”Better Call Saul” completed its first season this week – time to take stock, and recreate some of the most memorable scenes with images from our very own archive!

Reminiscent of the Albuquerque sun. Can’t we just imagine Jimmy driving through the New Mexico desert to come face to face with the unpredictable Tuco?
View through car windscreen, Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA.
© akg-images / picture-alliance

In a sense, “Better Call Saul” presents us with a mirror-image of Walter White’s story. Instead of introducing the viewer to a likeable character who metamorphoses before our very eyes into a hardened egomaniac, ‘Better Call Saul’ uncovers the humanity behind the show’s most outrageous attorney-at-law. By peering into Saul Goodman’s past, we can begin to unravel the reasons behind his mistaken decisions, and can empathise with a character who started his days with all odds truly stacked against him. We can begin to admire his ambition and drive, ingenuity and resourcefulness, yet we are only too aware of the downward spiral of events that awaits him. Throughout, there is a bitter-sweet sense of great potential and inevitable demise.

To venture with us on this journey, and revisit our highlights from Season One, click here for the full image selection inspired by the heat of the Albuquerque desert. You’ll find a nod to the Kettleman’s backyard camping trip, Chucks’ electromagnetic hypersensitivity, and of course Slippin’ Jimmy’s incurable con-artistry. Can you spot any other of your favourite scenes?

Below are only a few of the gems unearthed along the way:

Come to life in the 1960s: a vintage re-incarnation of Mike Ehrmantraut, complete with parking attendant’s uniform.
Car park attendant, France, c. 1962.
© akg-images / Paul Almasy
A payphone hastily abandoned, we can imagine Jimmy not very far away.
Public telephones in Harlem, New York, 1999.
© akg-images / Africa Media Online
We are reminded of Jimmy’s publicity stunt and the dizzying heights of the James M. McGill billboard.
A man on a scaffold scraping a billboard, 1940s.
© ClassicStock / akg-images / H. Armstrong Roberts
A storage place for all things electromagnetic!
Mail boxes of lettuce workers, outskirts of Salinas, California, USA, 1939.
© IAM / akg-images
This photograph evokes the scene in which Chuck pieces together the shredded documents in his darkened room; the beginning of his gradual healing process.
A geologist reading by candlelight, 1966.
© akg-images / RIA Novosti
Debilitating phobia: the world as seen from Chuck’s perspective, the skies dark with the threat of electromagnetic radiation.
Powerlines and clouds, photographed against the sun, 1989.
© akg-images / Patricia Sigerist
Could this lady be waiting for Jimmy’s legal advice at Sandpiper Crossing?
An elderly woman in the lobby of the Hilton in New York, USA, 1958.
© akg-images / Paul Almasy

View the rest of our Saul-inspired selection here. Happy browsing!