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Russell T Davies to pen AIDS drama The Boys for C4

Russell T Davies to pen AIDS drama The Boys for C4
Tim Dams
15 January 2015

Writer Russell T Davies is working on a new series about the AIDS epidemic and the toll it took on young gay men in Britain in the 1980s.

Called The Boys, the six part series is in the early stages of writing and is provisionally set to air on Channel 4 in 2016. It is being produced through Red Production Company.

Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild event today, Davies said the drama would closely focus on the lives and deaths in the 1980s of young men from AIDS, and be less about the history of the virus or the politics of fighting the disease.

Davies’s pioneering drama Queer as Folk, about the gay scene in Manchester, aired in 1999. This month he has a new gay drama series Cucumber on Channel 4, along with companion piece Banana on E4.

“It’s called The Boys because it is about the boys,” he said, adding: “The stories of the boys has not been told because they are not here. They didn’t leave any children, their deaths were very quiet.”

Davies, who famously resurrected Doctor Who in 2005, said the idea for The Boys also stemmed from turning 50 and reflecting on his younger life.

“I’m amazed I haven’t done this before, I’m amazed no one has. Men like me in their 50s are looking back and now realise how shocking it was. Personally speaking we all ran away from it.”

“I had friends who died and I didn’t go to their funeral. I didn’t write to their mothers. I didn’t do any of that – I was too young and stupid, I carried on. I look back now and think that was shameful. And I wondered why I did that.”

Davies's latest drama Cucumber follows the lives of Henry (Vincent Franklin) and his former long-term boyfriend Lance (Cyril Nri) after their break up. E4 series Banana tells standalone stories involving characters largely drawn from the younger end of the Manchester gay scene. There is also be an online factual strand called Tofu about modern gay life.

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