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Television Entertainment Science

Breaking Bad's Scientific Consultant On Making Meth and More 118

Posted by timothy
from the not-a-howto dept.
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Science sat down with Breaking Bad science consultant Donna Nelson, an organic chemist at the University of Oklahoma. Nelson was one of several expert advisers for the show who began consulting several episodes in on multiple topics, including how to make Walt a realistic chemist. She discusses the accuracy of the show, whether making meth is as straightforward as it seems on the series, and her favorite scene."
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Breaking Bad's Scientific Consultant On Making Meth and More

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  • My baby blue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spy Handler (822350) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @06:54PM (#46910259) Homepage Journal

    One time I was out on a set visit and Vince said, "What do you think about making the meth blue?" I advised him not to do it. He said, "Is there not some way it could be blue?" And I said again, "No, don't do it."

    So apparently, there is no actual chemistry basis for making Walt's meth blue... even the P2P/methylamine process does not yield a blue color. Vince Gilligan just really wanted the meth blue so he can use these cool 60's songs:

    Crystal Blue Persuasion - from Gliding Over All, music playing over montage showing Walt's new meth operation with Todd and Lydia and DeClan. Parodied by the Simpsons.

    My Baby Blue - from the last episode, final scene, when Walt gets what he deserved. The special love I had for you.

  • Hide the Knowledge (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Macrat (638047) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @07:32PM (#46910387)

    They helped so that we wouldn’t be presenting a cookbook on how to make meth and told him what steps to leave out so that anyone mimicking the procedures would fail.

    Yup. A TV show giving inaccurate information is going to prevent people from making meth.

  • Re:My baby blue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abhi_beckert (785219) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @07:34PM (#46910393)

    Pure meth is white/clear. But you could explain the blue color as the result of some additive they put into it, as a "trademark" of sorts.

    Yes but a key part of the show was nobody else could cook blue meth. Walt had power over the drug dealers because he could give them something unique.

    If all it took was an additive, the story would not have worked.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2014 @09:41PM (#46910851)

    Once Walt and Jesse moved beyond making a few ounces at a time, they couldn't get enough OTC pseudoephedrine pills through their small network of "smurfs".

    Which is unfortunately historically accurate.

    The War on Drugs fighting the smurfs means that the large-scale operations can bring it in by the 40-gallon barrel. Meth supply to the street is unaffected, and the only change in my quality of life is that I have to "voluntarily" enter myself into a DEA tracking database for pseudoephedrine if I get a cold and want a decongestant more than the (indistinguishable-from-fucking placebo) phenylephrine.

    I hate meth cooks more than I hate meth heads, but neither of them has inconvenienced me in the way that the DEA does every fucking cold season. Legalize it and let the meth heads kill themselves off. Then the cooks will have no customers. At least I'll be able to limit the symptoms of my fucking cold without feeling like a criminal.

The world is not octal despite DEC.