It’s a Sin creator Russell T. Davies has revealed the one scene he refused to write.
The Channel 4/HBO drama revisits the AIDS crisis in 1980s London, following a group of young gay friends as the disease begins to claim lives around them, and eventually, their own. Davies now tells The Hollywood Reporter that when he pitched the show, one network didn’t like the idea of treating AIDS as a creeping menace.
“I was told at one channel,” Davies explained, “‘What if its start is on an AIDS ward in say, 1990 or 1992, with the machines and people dying, and then went, ’10 years earlier…” I thought that was unbelievably crass and literally refused to do it.”
Davies went on to explain that he resisted any attempt to add the scene, even as an experiment. “My producer said, ‘I know you don’t like that scene. If you just type it out, if you just type one page of that, it might get made,'” Davies recalls. “I’d rather die than type that page. It’s the wrong way to tell it. There was a lot of nonsense like that. Then you just wait for the right commissioner. In my experiences, all the bosses will leave their jobs every two or three years. So just sit still and the right person will enter the seat again. Heads of department changed and I got [It’s a Sin] commissioned five years later.”
Lucky for us, Channel 4 eventually green-lit the show, with HBO offering distribution in the United States. In the same interview, Davies reiterates that he will not write a follow-up season to It’s a Sin; rather, the story is completely told in five episodes. Davies also addressed the proposed reboot of Queer as Folk for American streaming service Peacock. He says he is not involved in development of the show, but has offered notes and suggestions as an informal consultant.