Simon Toyne is the author of the highly acclaimed Sanctus trilogy. Simon graduated from Goldsmith’s College in London with a degree in English and Drama. He worked in British television for nearly 20 years as a producer. In 2007, he left television and moved with his family to France where they lived for six months. He returned to the U.K. and continued writing, while free-lancing in television to help pay the bills. That is, until Sanctus, the first novel of the trilogy was completed and became an international best-seller. It was followed by The Key and the recently released, The Tower. All three novels have been translated into dozens of languages and are read all over the world.
While “Breaking Bad” is not a novel, it’s disturbing to see how money and commercial interest can interfere with good writing (whether in a novel or another medium). I’ve watched the series since it began and have thought it’s one of the best and most creative series on television.
I recently learned something about television and it’s reflected in “Breaking Bad.” I learned that in order for a series to go into syndication, it must have 100 or more episodes. So, AMC has decided to extend the series by 8 episodes this year, and by another 8 episodes in 2013.
In my opinion, this commerical scenario (the wish to go into syndication) has caused the first two episodes of this year to drag considerably. The writers are not advancing the story in any meaningful way but rather, seem to be prolonging the storyline for the sake of fulfilling the criteria for syndication. The first two episodes were bogged down in meaningless (and sometimes, distracting) detail. And the series is losing much of its punch and now seems to be plodding along.
It demonstrates the malignant role that commercial interests can have in storytelling, whether in a novel or some other medium. It’s sad how money seems so often to affect all art forms.