It’s a Sin: Russel T Davies’ masterpiece

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16 February 2021

By Sunny H

The story of It’s a Sin follows the lives of Colin, Ritchie and Roscoe who have left their homes for a new start in 1981 London. It was here where they found life to be promising and full of optimism – a world away from their previous lives ‘back home’.  Everything seems to be going at full speed for these young men until they are met by a deadly virus that the whole world seems to be ignoring and allowing to silently kill masses. 

It’s a Sin is a breathtaking, hard-hitting series that looks at the impact of the Aids crisis in London, something that has impacted so many of our lives. The show is so much more than a surface-level drama about young adults – it covers complex issues of relationships, race and social status in the face of a deadly virus.


Russell T Davies’ series has started conversations around Britain about the realities, both political and personal, of living through the HIV/Aids crisis. It has led to an increase in people getting tested for HIV, while raising awareness about preventive medication (PrEP) and the effective treatment now available for people living with the virus. This is one of those shows that has the potential to make you think deeply, laugh and cry.

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Written in such a way that you fall in love with each of these strong personalities, It’s a Sin also strikes you with devastation when you least expect it. The heartache throughout this series is so very real and should be felt by anyone who watches it. I urge anyone who is in doubt of the impact of AIDS to please watch this series.

We all could use a friend like Jill


Perhaps one of the most important characters in this series is Jill. She is the support, the best friend, the hand to hold and everything you could want in a friend. The series, after some research, was actually based on a real-life-Jill’s story of her experience of loss during the ’80s. When Jill Nalder was studying in London in 1981, she noticed young men were leaving and not coming back. They would go home and “sort of disappear”. The reality was that her friends were dying, often in secret, with Aids. 

The close friend of Davies upon whom the series was based would visit her friends in hospital in complete secrecy, calling the parents of those who had fallen victim to the virus. During a time when people were at their loneliest, she was there for them. This character earned such a special place in my heart, her story of friendship, life and loss is one that everyone should learn about.

Final thoughts


On the whole, if you haven’t guessed already by this review, the emotions throughout this series are all over the place. And if you’re anything like me, you will find the tears flowing throughout every episode – be they of laughter or sadness. I urge you to educate yourself on HIV and AIDS, as admittedly, before watching the series, I wasn’t informed at all.

Since watching it, I have been researching endlessly about the history of the disease, and the appalling way in which it was handled. For reliable information on understanding HIV, please click here

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