Teaser of new Olly Alexander and Neil Patrick Harris 1980s AIDS drama It’s A Sin

The first teaser images and video has just landed for a drama about the AIDS era from Russell T Davies.

It’s a Sin will be a five-part drama on HBO in the US and Channel 4 in the UK next year.

It will star Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander. And Neil Patrick Harris, Tracy Ann Oberman, Shaun Dooley, Keeley Hawes, Stephen Fry and Lydia West will complete the task.

The story will follow Alexander and a group of friends as they navigate life and AIDS in London in the 80s.

Pop star Alexander from the band Years & Years, will play the lead, 18-year-old Ritchie Tozer. He’s his family’s golden boy, though he’s determined to keep his secrets from them.

He will be joined by newcomers Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells playing his friends  17-year-old party boy Roscoe Babatunde and quiet Welsh boy Colin Morris-Jones, who is about to become an apprentice on Savile Row.

Lydia West – a star of Davies’ drama also called Years and Years – plays Jill Baxter. She’s Ritchie’s friend from college, straight-talking, funny, and the rock on which they rely.

The official synopsis reads:

‘It’s 1981, the start of a new decade and Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin begin a new life in London. Strangers at first, these young gay lads, and their best friend Jill, find themselves thrown together, and soon share each other’s adventures.

‘But a new virus is on the rise, and soon their lives will be tested in ways they never imagined. As the decade passes, and they grow up in the shadow of AIDS, they’re determined to live and love more fiercely than ever.’

Davies: The master of LGBT+ British TV

The series was originally called The Boys and then Boys. However, it changed the name after Amazon Prime superhero drama The Boys premiered.

Moreover, the new name, It’s A Sin, is the title of a track by seminal LGBT+ British pop band Pet Shop Boys. Unsurprisingly, you can hear that song on the new, brief, teaser:

Davies has undoubtedly had a huge influence in changing British TV to be more LGBT+ inclusive.

His 90s series Queer As Folk was groundbreaking in the UK and was adapted for a US audience, becoming a major hit. He reimagined sci-fi drama Doctor Who, introducing LGBT+ characters, and making it a major international hit for the BBC.

More recently his dramas A Very English Scandal, Years and Years have also had strong queer themes.

‘He helped shape my identity as a gay person’

Davies with Alexander and some of the cast of It's A Sin.
Davies with Alexander and some of the cast of It’s A Sin. Tris Reid-Smith

Olly Alexander previously said:

‘I feel like the luckiest boy in the world to be a part of this project. I’ve been a fan of Russell T Davies ever since I watched Queer As Folk in secret at 14 years old.

‘His work helped shape my identity as a gay person so I’m absolutely over the moon we’ll be working together. The script was amazing to read, I laughed and I cried a lot, it’s a privilege to be helping to tell this story and I’m so excited.’

Moreover Neil Patrick Harris commented:

‘I’m so pleased, and incredibly proud, to be a part of Russell T Davies’ new series.

‘It is an irresistible, funny, jubilant story of young people discovering their true identities and the unalloyed joy of living life to the fullest. It is also a deeply resonant exploration of a decade when so many of these lives were cut short by the devastating effects of the nascent AIDS pandemic.

‘Russell’s scripts chart the highs and lows of this time so beautifully and deftly, it’s an honour to help tell this story.’

Filming has now started and the series will land on Channel 4 and HBO early in 2021.


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