NEW YORK (AP) — Bryan Cranston has an authoritative voice, which all by itself would qualify him to narrate “Big History.”
But there’s another reason Cranston is a fine choice for this new docuseries, which pledges to reveal “one grand unified theory” for how every event in history (13.7 billion years of it) is intertwined by science. Cranston, after all, starred in the recently concluded drama “Breaking Bad” as Walter White, the nation’s favorite psychotic former high-school chemistry teacher.
“Walt was a passionate teacher,” Cranston says with a laugh, “and even through the dastardly deeds that he found himself doing later on, he was still a teacher: He taught Jesse the chemistry of cooking meth.”
“Breaking Bad” is behind him, and now, in Cranston’s current TV project, he is as much student as teacher as he confronts each script for the 16-episode-plus-finale series, which premieres tomorrow at 10 p.m. EDT on the H2 network (an extension of the History channel).
“The series uses science and history to show how various things that we take for granted these days had their origins thousands of years ago,” Cranston says by phone from the Los Angeles studio where he is busy taping his commentary.
Two half-hour episodes of “Big History” will air on premiere night.
“The Superpower of Salt” reveals its subject to be far more than the thing you cut down on if you have high blood pressure.
“New York City wouldn’t be the city that it is without salt,” Cranston declares in the episode. Moreover, salt helped determine the road system of America and beyond: It “has silently engineered our global map.”
Salt’s all-important role in animal life was demonstrated eons ago by the genesis of the egg, a portable container for salty water that allowed a creature to leave the sea for dry land to procreate there. (Even the amniotic sack in the womb serves as a personal ocean for the fetus, he notes.)