Channel 4 has announced a new five-part series dealing with the impact of the AIDS crisis on gay men in the 1980s. The Boys, written by Russell T Davies, will focus on three boys – Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin, who head to London in 1981 “with hope and ambition and joy… and walk straight into a plague that most of the world ignores”.
Credited with reviving the once-waning Dr Who for BBC, Russell T Davies is already legendary in LGBT+ television history for creating the groundbreaking Queer As Folk, as well as the recent Hugh Grant starrer A Very English Scandal.
Davies said that it was always his aim to create a show about the crisis. “I lived through those times, and it’s taken me decades to build up to this. And as time marches on, there’s a danger the story will be forgotten. So it’s an honour to write this for the ones we lost, and the ones who survived.” He continued, “If I get to my death bed and haven’t written about the AIDS crisis I will consider myself to have failed.”
The Boys focuses on the young men as “Year by year, episode by episode, their lives change, as the mystery of a new virus starts as a rumour, then a threat, then a terror, and then something that binds them together in the fight.”
It is also the story of their friends, lovers and families who “galvanise them in the battles to come. Together they will endure the horror of the epidemic, the pain of rejection and the prejudices that gay men faced throughout the decade.”
Channel 4 commissioning editor Lee Mason said in a statement: “Nearly 20 years after the glorious Queer as Folk changed the pop culture landscape forever, I am thrilled Russell is back with The Boys. It’s an incredibly important project that feels just as landmark, just as uncompromising, and just as heartfelt.”
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