18 November 2013

Our Managing Director Ali Karim has been in mourning since Season 5 of Breaking Bad recently completed its highly acclaimed run on US TV.

Ali had been alerted about this TV show from AMC, when it started airing five years ago in the US by his very long-time friend, English literature professor and best-selling thriller writer David Morrell [who is best known from debuting in the 1970s with the novel FIRST BLOOD]. That novel introduced the iconic John Rambo character that became immortalised by Sylvester Stallone in four violent action films, FIRST BLOOD, RAMBO : FIRST BLOOD PART TWO, RAMBO III and RAMBO IV. David Morrell and Ali Karim have been friends for many years. Morrell has an inside joke by featuring our Managing Director in some of his work, including the thriller THE NAKED EDGE, where Ali Karim is a former US Marine working for the US Secret Service. Anyway, David Morrell lives in New Mexico, where BREAKING BAD is filmed. David rang Ali at Hazchem Network when the show first premiered in the US, as he knew [that outside of his family], Ali’s two passions are Chemistry and Crime-Fiction, which are fused elegantly into Breaking Bad, by former X-Files writer Vince Gilligan.

BREAKING BAD never really hit the level of success in the UK as it has in the US. On UK TV, seasons 1 and 2 ran on a cable channel, but the show was cancelled [in the UK] before further seasons became available from AMC. Since then word from across the Atlantic has built with solid viewing figures, many awards and critical kudos – all resulting in BREAKING BAD become a cult UK hit on DVD and Online Streaming via services such as NetFlix and Lovefilm.

BREAKING BAD has engaged American audiences making it one of the most viewed and critically acclaimed TV series ever aired in the US. In Ali’s case, his interest stems from its fusion of Chemistry with great writing, acting and extraordinary production values making it a classic tale of crime-fiction. The Chemistry is solidly based, featuring the dangers of ‘cooking’ with Hydrofluoric Acid, Phosphine evaluation amongst other chemical hazards that Jessie Pinkman and Walter White [aka ‘Heisenberg’] traverse – including working with dangerous gangsters and the criminal fraternity.

The story-arc for the 5 seasons of BREAKING BAD is the tale of high school chemistry teacher, Walter White who after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer realises his was to do something for his family, as his wife is unexpectedly pregnant and they have a disabled adolescent son. He teams up with one of his ex-students, the drop-out Jessie Pinkman to make "Crystal Meth" by synthesis of Methamphetamine. The 5 seasons detail the transformation of mild-mannered Chemistry teacher Mr White into the hardened and ruthless drug overlord and criminal Heisenberg.

Ali’s enthusiasm for BREAKING BAD has been transferred to some of the hub staff with Gary Cane our IT Engineer catching up [he’s on season 4], and Shift Controller Kieran Harper watching all 5 seasons over a two week period. The team at the hub now fully understand why Ali Karim had barred the transhipment of Hydrofluoric Acid through the Hazchem Network [since its start-up in 2004], after seeing the hazards it poses when young Jessie Pinkman failed to follow Walter White [aka ‘Heisenberg’s] Procedures.

Ali’s wife Muriel Karim has even been watching the show despite its dark moments. Earlier in the year they attended a fancy dress dinner party as Walter ‘Heisenberg’ White and Skylar White, though no one at the party knew who they were as very few in the UK have been watching BREAKING BAD.

The show ended in dramatic style, featuring the classic track ‘Baby Blue’ by the Welsh Band "Badfinger", a fitting end to one of the greatest crime-fiction shows ever aired on TV. If you know the tragic story behind "Badfinger", you’ll understand why it was a fitting song to end the tale of mild mannered Chemist Walter While, who became drug overlord "Heisenberg".

More information about BREAKING BAD is available from the AMC >

…..and finally a very serious warning, do not try this at home as not only is the synthesis of Methamphetamine illegal as it is a Class "A" psychoactive drug, but a highly hazardous process…….