Many viewers have been deeply moved by Channel 4’s hard-hitting AIDS drama It’s A Sin, but writer Russell T Davies has now revealed the show almost included two more devastating twists.
The series follows a group of young people sharing a flat during the 1980s, exploring the horrifying impact that the health crisis had on each of their lives.
Speaking at Damian Barr’s Literary Salon (via Salon on Demand), Davies explained that his original pitch for the series – which would have extended to eight episodes – included a time jump picking up with Roscoe and Jill later in life.
Read on for details, but be warned that spoilers for It’s A Sin follow.
At the end of episode five, the remaining residents of the Pink Palace – Roscoe (Omari Douglas), Jill (Lydia West) and Ash (Nathaniel Curtis) – are left to mourn their fallen friends, but the story didn’t always end there.
As Davies revealed, his first vision involved a time jump that would pick up with a middle-aged Roscoe and Jill as the shadow of the AIDS crisis continues looming over them.
The Queer as Folk creator revealed that, after dodging the illness at the height of its spread, Roscoe would have caught HIV at this later stage in his life.
“You know, 50 years old and he’s got the virus having escaped it all those years,” he said.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the character would have died, as several decades on from when it first emerged, HIV is now a treatable condition if caught early.
Meanwhile, following their stand-off on the Isle of Wight after Ritchie’s shocking death, Jill would have crossed paths with Valerie Tozer (Keeley Hawes) once again.
Davies described a 55-year-old Jill: “She’s still working in mental and sexual health. It’s too long a story to describe, but you get the feeling that she’s trapped in that world, actually.”
By this point, Valerie would be elderly and living in a care home, where she would confide in Jill about the “sexual abuse at the heart of the Tozer household”.
It’s A Sin debuted on Channel 4 in January and has been a runaway hit for the broadcaster, breaking records on its streaming and catch-up service, All 4.