Russell T Davies has explained his original plans for Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, discussing plot lines and revealing that it was originally pitched to cover eight episodes.
Speaking on Damian Barr’s Literary Salon, the screenwriter said an additional flatmate and further story arcs were lined up had the show been allowed to run for longer.
“It could’ve been eight episodes long, and there would’ve been an extra flatmate, and he would’ve had adventures,” he said in the interview. “But I was offered four episodes, and that’s fine. Everything that I would’ve done kind of compacted inwards.”
**Spoilers for It’s A Sin ahead**
Although the show was ultimately commissioned for five episodes, Davies – also known for his work on Doctor Who, Queer As Folk, and more – said there was “always meant” to be another episode catching up on the characters in the present day.
“It was never written, so it doesn’t exist, but it was kind of budgeted for. We’d catch up with Jill at the age of 55 and she’s still working in mental and sexual health,” he said. “It’s too long a story to describe, but you get the feeling that she’s trapped in that world, actually.”
Extra scenes would have seen Jill, who is based on one of Davies’ real-life friends, “going on cruise ships and to conference centres and singing songs on the West End with all her mates,” and returning to Ritchie’s home on the Isle of Wight: “She decides to go, she goes back to the Isle of Wight to meet that family. That’s why there was a sister there, in Ritchie’s household,” Davies added.
The show would have also shown Ritchie’s mother in a care home, revealing the “sexual abuse at the heart of the Tozer household and [learning] how Valerie ended up like she did.”
Jill would have also reconnected with Roscoe, only to learn that he had contracted HIV in middle age. “You know, 50 years old and he’s got the virus having escaped it all those years,” he said.
In a five-star review of It’s A Sin, NME wrote: “By telling this story through the eyes of warm, flawed and sometimes frustrating characters you’ll care about, it offers a heartbreaking reminder of the countless lives claimed by HIV/AIDS.”