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WATCH: If you liked ‘It’s A Sin’, you should definitely check out ‘AIDS: The Unheard Tapes’

Photo Credit: BBC

In early 2021, prolific gay television creator Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk, Doctor Who) transported audiences back to London in the ’80s with It’s A Sin, imagining the uplifting yet tragic tale of a fictional group of queer friends living through the AIDS epidemic.

Now, a new documentary series revisits that monumental time and place in gay history, but AIDS: The Unheard Tapes brings audiences face-to-face with the real stories of the people who lived through it—and those who didn’t.

Related: And the films played on: 17 essential movies about HIV/AIDS

Narrated by Russell Tovey—who, coincidentally, worked with Davies on the miniseries Years And Years—the three-part series gives modern audiences an unparalleled look at the LGBTQ community’s struggle to survive and defiant will to live during this dark time in queer history.

In an exercise that proves both heart-wrenching and eye-opening, AIDS: The Unheard Tapes enlists a handful of actors, dressed in period-accurate costuming, to lip-sync to interviews with people who contracted HIV in the epidemic’s early days, recordings that were kept in the British Library and never broadcast until now.

Photo Credit: BBC

More than a gimmick, the effect is astonishing, offering windows into the lives that were taken from us too soon, telling a story of grief, but also one of hope, pride, and celebration.

AIDS: The Unheard Tapes‘ first episode debuted January 27 on BBC Two and the BBC iPlayer, with its remaining episodes airing the following Mondays. Details to come on where and when you can watch in the U.S.

Watch the trailer for AIDS: The Unheard Tapes below: