Ben Blackall/HBO Max

 by Gerrad hall

RUSSELL T. DAVIES DETAILS THE CREATION OF HIS LIMITED SERIES, STARRING YEARS & YEARS SINGER OLLY ALEXANDER, ALL ABOUT FIVE FRIENDS ROCKED BY THE AIDS EPIDEMIC IN 1980S LONDON.

WHY IT'S A SIN
IS SO DIFFERENT FROM OTHER
AIDS STORIES

Young and living it up, five friends have their lives upended by the spread of AIDS. At the time, little was know about it — to the point of it being called just "gay cancer" or "gay flu." But it was much worse, of course.

'It's a Sin' is anything but what its title suggests 

Ben Blackhall/HBO Max

Davies was all too familiar with the stories and setting because he lived it. But he hadn't seen the British experience shared with the world. So he changed that. 

Russ Ferguson/HBO Max

Russell T. Davies

"We are in the shadow of the American experience in terms of our culture. I think it's very good shadows, a strong shadow - Larry kramer came along and wrote The 'Normal Heart' and then Tony Kushner wrote 'Angels in America,' and possibly every writer in the world has stood in awe of those ever since."

Jojo Whilden/HBO

Ben Blackhall/HBO Max

'It's a Sin' allowed Davies to explore LGBTQ lives in a way he's always wanted to: away from the corridors of power and over the course of time. The miniseries spans 10 years.

Ben Blackall/HBO Max

— RUSSELL T. DAVIES

"And that's the nature of the virus - it's slow and invasive and takes many forms, and even death itself isn't predictable with it; that can take many forms. And so I thought this was a good structure."

"Within that, I had things to say as well. I'm very proud of it as a drama. And I'm very proud of the characters, but there are moments where unashamedly I break [the fourth wall] and say, 'I've got something to say here.'"

Davies Got to say his piecE

Ben Blackall/HBO Max

— RUSSELL T. DAVIES

Ben Blackhall/HBO Max

The best example is an early episode that tackles fake news peddled at the time. "I've never quite seen that dramatized — what a state of suspense we lived in where we didn't quite believe it, we couldn't believe such a thing was true."

THE BEST IN POP CULTURE 

Ben Blackall/HBO Max