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Image / Living / Culture

There was meant to be a sixth and final episode of ‘It’s A Sin’ set in the 2000s


By Lauren Heskin
24th Mar 2021
There was meant to be a sixth and final episode of ‘It’s A Sin’ set in the 2000s

One of the best shows of the year so far, it turns out that 'It’s A Sin' creator Russell T Davies also wanted more than its short five-episode run. Spoilers ahead so only read on if you have finished the series.

While in conversation with AIDS activist Ruth Coker Burks as part of Damian Barr’s Literary Salon. Welsh screenwriter Russell T Davies revealed that he had originally intended for It’s A Sin to be a longer series than the final five episodes that aired earlier this year.

While the eight-episode arch was his initial plan, Channel 4 only offered him four episodes. It came after the BBC and ITV had turned down the chance to develop to the show, there was a sense that a TV show about AIDS would be too difficult a subject matter.

Davies admits that in considering how to his series by half he wondered, “Should I lose a flatmate, should I lose Roscoe, should I lose Colin?” But Davies couldn’t do it and admits that his refusal to cut characters or plotline resulted in it being a “dense piece of work, which I think actually has acted in its favour.” 

The lost episode

Davies pushed for a fifth episode, which he got, but he continued to plot for a sixth and final one, should the opportunity arise. While it was never actually written, Davies had budgeted for it and had a rough sketch of the episode. 

It would revolve around Jill, now 55 and still working in mental and sexual health. “It’s too long a story to describe,” Davies explains, “but you get the feeling that she’s trapped in that world, actually.” She accidentally agrees to give a lecture on the Isle of Wight, where she hasn’t been since Ritchie died.

She decides to go and meet Ritchie’s family, discovering the “sexual abuse at the heart of the Tozer household and  how Valerie [Ritchie’s mother] ended up like she did.” Davies explains that’s why Ritchie had a sister, intended as a connection between Jill and Ritchie’s family after all those years.

It’s A Sin, which spanned the lives of six friends in London spanning the decade of the AIDS crisis from 1981 to 1991 aired on Channel 4 and the entire series can be streamed on All 4 now.