Russell T Davies may be best known in the U.S. as the creator of Queer as Folk, but in the U.K. he's celebrated as the man who revived beloved time traveling sci-fi series Docotr Who. When asked on BBC'S Desert Island Discs where in time he'd journey to if he had his own TARDIS -- the superpowered telephone booth that can cross dimensions -- his answer was heartbreaking.
"If I had a TARDIS, I would go to Canal Street in Manchester and be a bystander in Cruz 101 on April 12, 1998, as I was standing by the railing, and [my late husband] was standing at another railing with his friend, and we caught eyes," Davies said, referring to Andrew Smith, his husband who died in 2018 after a battle with cancer. "What a magic moment."
Davies went on to call Smith "the nicest man in the world... he was so polite, and so kind, and so loving towards people. It was extraordinary. He will be in every good man I'll ever write now."
Smith was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2010, and the showrunner put his plans to start developing TV shows in the U.S. on hold to become his husband's caregiver, something he said he was "lucky" to do. Though Smith was given 18 months to live, he made it another eight years.
"I could talk about the roles of carers forever, and I certainly had it lucky in many ways - he was capable of doing things, he just needed that extra help," Davies explained, adding that while it was difficult, those eight years were their happiest. "They were so intimate and honest, and everything else falls away. It's love. That love, to be able to be like that, made me feel good as well."
While he might have wished for some more freedom while caring for his husband, Davies now cherishes that time. "Now I've got a bit of freedom, I would chuck that freedom away in an instant just to have five more minutes sitting and watching a television with him."
Davies is currently shooting Boys, which stars Olly Alexander as a young gay man in 1980s London at the beginning of the AIDS crisis.
RELATED | Olly Alexander Is Joining a New Show by the Creator of Queer as Folk