Channel Four has confirmed that, on January 22, it will air the first of five episodes of a new drama titled It’s a Sin, as reported by Attitude. The series is created by Welsh writer Russell T. Davies (Torchwood, A Very English Scandal) and is set during the 1980’s as the AIDS epidemic spreads across the U.K., Attitude reports.
Davies has received criticism in the past for avoiding the topic of HIV/AIDS in the English gay community in his Manchester-set teen drama Queer as Folk, the series that made a star of Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim, The Lost City of Z), according to The New Statesman. Rumblings of the development of It’s a Sin were heard as early as 2018, when Davies told The New Statesman that he wanted to do a story that addressed the AIDS crisis’s direct impact on gay life and the way it was largely ignored by people outside of that subculture: “A generation [was] being wiped out quietly while… all the straight world just carried on going to work and having their tea and watching the television.”
It’s a Sin, like Queer as Folk, follows a trio of young male friends in one English city, in this case London, according to The Radio Times. In an interview with The Radio Times, Davies explained why these specific characters feel like such personal creations to him. “They’re all 18 years old in 1981, that was my age… In a sense they’re all part of me but equally they’re all invented,” he said in summation. Omari Douglas (Wise Children) plays the hard-partying Roscoe Babatunde and Callum Scott Howells (Romeo and Julie) portrays quiet, unassuming Colin Morris-Jones, as reported by Pink News. Leading the cast is Olly Alexander (God Help the Girl), frontman for the British synth-pop group Years & Years, which coincidentally shares a name with a sci-fi family drama Davies created in 2019.
Two-time BAFTA nominee Keeley Hawes (Mrs. Wilson), Lydia West (Higher Grounds), Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D.) and Stephen Fry (Jeeves and Wooster) are all members of the supporting cast, Pink News reports. Fry shared a clip from the second episode of It’s a Sin on Twitter, praising both Davies’s writing and Alexander’s performance. Alexander returned the favor in a reply.
thank you stephen you’re so brilliant in the show
— olly ✨ (@alexander_olly) January 6, 2021
All five episodes of It’s a Sin will be available to stream on Channel Four’s designated SVOD service All 4 immediately following the on-air premiere, according to Attitude. HBO Max is reportedly facilitating a U.S. distribution plan, although the streamer has yet to announce when the show will arrive on the platform, Attitude reports.
The inaugural episode of It’s a Sin comes to Channel Four on January 22 at 9 P.M. GMT.