**WARNING: Contains some spoilers for Supacell**


Since launching on Netflix last week, new superhero drama Supacell has been a huge hit on the platform – becoming the streamer's number one show in the UK and second globally, just behind Bridgerton,

The show – which was written and created by Rapman – follows a group of seemingly ordinary Black Londoners who suddenly develop superpowers, with the cast including former Doctor Who star Tosin Cole and The Responder's Adelayo Adedayo.

And in a new roundtable discussion which RadioTimes.com can exclusively debut, Rapman has explained how one of the key ideas from the show came about due to his desire to uplift the Black community following the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

Asked about his decision to turn sickle cell disease – a condition which disproportionately affects Black people – into a superpower, he explained: "I feel like, with superpower shows I never understand the reason where the powers come from – they don't even mention it, it's like a cop-out for me.

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"And I remember making this show... when I started to create it was when George Floyd just got murdered. Everyone felt down... and I wanted to do something to uplift Black people. And I knew a girl always in hospital, every couple of weeks she's in hospital. All the time."

Rapman wearing a face mask and holding filming monitors with actors standing next to him and looking down at the monitors. There is a large green screen in the background.
Behind the scenes of Rapman directing Supacell. Ana Blumenkron/Netflix

He explained that she told him the reason for her frequent hospitalisations was due to sickle cell disease, and he continued: "The only time I heard of sickle cell before that was when Tupac was dissing Mobb Deep. So I'm just thinking... she broke it down to me and it was deep. And I went down a rabbit hole with it, like, why is there a disease which mainly affects Black people? I just never understood it.

"I said, 'You know what, it might be something through that... yeah you live with it and it can hurt you but it means your children will be extraordinary.' So I remember thinking, 'Yeah that's going to be the power, that's where it's going to come from.' And I just thought sickle cell, Supacell... it's like the wordplay. And it was the one thing Netflix never pushed back on, they loved the title of the show.

"So I thought this is going to raise awareness, anybody watching it – even if it's not true, it's like if you are living with sickle cell, like, 'Oh that's nice I'm being mentioned and imagine if my kid did become super from that, that'd be dope.' [It's] just something to make you feel seen, man – it's important for me!"

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You can check out the full roundtable discussion – which also includes input from Cole, Adedayo and their co-stars Nadine Mills, Ghetts, Josh Tedeku and Calvin Demba – above.

Rapman previously told RadioTimes.com how he hoped the series would open more doors for sci-fi shows about Black British characters.

“If you actually look back at UK shows, when have you ever seen a UK sci-fi – not that there's a lot of them anyway – but with a Black cast?" he said.

"And even take out the UK, even going to the States, you could probably think of Black Panther. Or you could probably think of Black Lightning. The buck stops there, let's be honest. And it's like... why can't Black people be in a sci-fi space?"

He added: "So the hope is that this show does really well and it's just the beginning. There'll be others."

Supacell is available to stream on Netflix now.


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