Queer as Folk creator and Dr. Who showrunner Russell T. Davies has dropped a teaser for his new five-part HBO drama series set in the AIDS era of the 1980s. It’s a Sin stars Neil Patrick Harris and Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander, and the story follows a group of young men who become friends in London as the specter of HIV looms just ahead. The project was previously being called Boys.
Alexander plays Ritchie Torez, an 18-year-old queer youth hiding his sexuality from his family. Lydia West and newcomers Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells round out his circle of friends.
According to the official synopsis, the boys are “strangers at first” when first thrown together in London, but quickly become the best of friends. Their lives are soon to be tested “in ways they never imagined” as the new virus spreads silently among then, but through it all “they’re determined to live and love more fiercely than ever.”
The series was a personal experience for Davies and he felt the story needed to be told to a younger generation. “It’s the kind of story that you think has been told, but then you realize it hasn’t been told in Britain,” he told Variety previously, noting the project had been in the works for over five years.
For his part, Alexander told the publication he felt “like the luckiest boy in the world to be a part of this project,” noting that he’s been a fan of Davies ever since he “watched Queer As Folk in secret” at the age of 14.
Harris also said he was honored to play a part in It’s a Sin, but noted the historical gravity of the project.
“Russell’s scripts chart the highs and lows of this time so beautifully and deftly, it’s an honor to help tell this story.”