Could there be a Sequel for 'It's a Sin?'

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday April 29, 2022

Olly Alexander and the cast of 'It's A Sin'
Olly Alexander and the cast of 'It's A Sin'  

"It's a Sin" showrunner Nicola Shindler says she and creator Russell T. Davies might tell a new story with characters from the hit miniseries, NME reported.

Although Davies had said before that there would be no followup to the drama, which is set in 1980s London as the AIDS crisis hits England, "Shindler has now confirmed that Davies is considering tackling a different subject with the characters Jill (Lydia West) and Roscoe (Omari Douglas) from the original series," NME detailed.

Shindler revealed the idea for a new series: Jill and Roscoe would work to protect young men being tricked into sexual situations, filmed, and then blackmailed, Pink News revealed.

The idea came from media reports about such manipulative schemes targeting youths, Shindler recounted. "He thought, what if you cut to the present day and Jill and Roscoe are out there to stop people from doing this. There are so many vulnerable people that need looking after or need some kind of attention shining on them."

A sequel would almost certainly find a receptive audience. "The hard-hitting miniseries had a huge impact when it premiered on Channel 4 at the start of 2021, Radio Times recalled.

The series' success was a surprise to Britain's Channel 4, which had initially been reluctant to produce a series dealing with the trauma of the epidemic's early years.

The miniseries aired in America on HBO Max.

Shindler spoke about the series and its possible sequel on the "It's A Sin" BAFTA Television Session in advance of the BAFTA Television Awards nominations, which will happen on May 8. She had another juicy tidbit to share about the five-episode Olly Alexander-starring show: Early on, there was an idea to make it a prequel to another beloved Davies project, the original British "Queer As Folk."

"We debated whether it should really be a prequel to 'Queer As Folk,' whether we should think about calling it that," the executive producer revealed. However, she added, "We knew that was wrong as soon as we started talking."

"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,'" Radio Times detailed.

"They're stories that he wanted to tell about gay men at a certain point in their lives when history is impacting them," Shindler explained of Davies' thinking.

She also pointed out that, unlike "It's A Sin," "Queer As Folk" deliberately avoided putting the spotlight on AIDS.

"'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," Shindler noted, pointing out that up until "Queer As Folk," "anytime a gay character had been on screen, it had been about HIV and AIDS, and he just didn't want that."

While the notion of a sequel to "It's A Sin" has its appeal, "Queer As Folk" is set for a definite return as a remake on NBC's streaming service Peacock premiering this June. An American version previously aired for five seasons on Showtime, from 2000-2005.

The new show tells a new story about a group of LGBTQ+ friends in New Orleans. Watch a trailer for the new "Queer As Folk" below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.