Russell T Davies to write new AIDS TV drama

Russell T Davies Channel 4

BAFTA-winning writer Russell T Davies is to write a five-part drama on the AIDS crisis in the 80s for Channel 4.

The Boys follows the fortunes of three 18-year-olds who arrive in London in 1981 “with hope and ambition and joy… walking straight into a plague that most of the world ignores.”

Channel 4 said: “Together they will endure the horror of the epidemic, the pain of rejection and the “prejudices that gay men faced throughout the decade.

“There are terrible losses and wonderful friendships. And complex families, pushed to the limit and beyond. This is a series that remembers the boys we lost, and celebrates those lives that burned so brightly.”

For Davies, who created the ground-breaking Queer As Folk and also relaunched Doctor Who in 2005, the subject matter is personal.

“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 said.

Lee Mason, Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 added; “Nearly 20 years after the glorious Queer as Folk left an indelible mark on British TV and changed the pop culture landscape forever, I am thrilled Russell is back on Channel 4 with The Boys. It’s an incredibly important project that feels just as landmark, just as uncompromising, and just as heartfelt.”

The Boys will go into production in 2019.