Russell T Davies goes back to the 80s with a new drama about the Aids epidemic. Its cast and creators discuss sex, grief and Thatcher
Russell T Davies’s drama It’s a Sin, charting the early years of the Aids epidemic in the UK, arrives on our screens with a pep in its step that may at first seem at odds with the subject. It is difficult, after all, to think cheerfully about an epidemic that has taken thousands of lives in Britain alone, and a virus that an estimated 100,000 people in the country still live with. Its title is particularly apt: the 1987 Pet Shop Boys track it’s borrowed from summons both the decadent pleasures of the era and that all-pervading sense of shame: the shame of the illness itself, so vicious and mysterious at first, and the fact that it often came from gay sex, perceived for so long as shameful, too.