It's A Sin was almost a prequel series to Queer As Folk, executive producer Nicola Shindler has revealed.


The hard-hitting miniseries had a huge impact when it premiered on Channel 4 at the start of 2021, depicting how HIV and AIDS devastated the lives of the LGBTQ+ community in the 1980s.

Writer Russell T Davies had previously explored the lives of young gay men in Queer As Folk, although notably that earlier show never approached the topic of HIV and AIDS head-on.

Nevertheless, during It's A Sin's BAFTA Television Session this week, Shindler said that they discussed the idea of narratively connecting the two projects.

"We debated whether it should really be a prequel to Queer As Folk, whether we should think about calling it that," she explained. "We knew that was wrong as soon as we started talking."

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Ultimately, the two shows were kept separate in terms of continuity, but Shindler went on to say that there is a definite thematic "through line" between them, as well as another of Davies' LGBTQ+ dramas, Cucumber.

"It feels like [It’s A Sin] and Cucumber and Queer As Folk are all absolutely linked," she continued. "They’re stories that he wanted to tell about gay men at a certain point in their lives when history is impacting them.

"Queer As Folk very purposefully didn’t mention HIV or AIDS, and we didn’t have shots of condoms, and that was absolutely something that Russell was passionate about."

Charlie Hunham, Aiden Gillen, and Craig Kelly in Queer As Folk.
Queer As Folk Channel 4

Shindler added: "But almost to make the point, because everything at that point… anytime a gay character had been on screen, it had been about HIV and AIDS, and he just didn’t want that."

Queer As Folk debuted on Channel 4 back in February 1999, with an American adaptation following soon after. A second US version is slated for release later this year on streaming service Peacock.

Meanwhile, Davies and Shindler will take part in a special It’s A Sin panel and Q&A alongside stars Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells at this year's BFI & Radio Times Television Festival – you can find out more information and get tickets here.

The Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards will take place on Sunday 8th May at The Royal Festival Hall, hosted by Richard Ayoade and broadcast on BBC One.

It's A Sin is available to stream on All 4. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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