As the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking series Queer as Folk approaches, the dramedy’s creator, Russell T. Davies, returns with another show tackling gay life.
The Boys is a five-part drama that will follow three boys—Ritchie, Roscoe, and Colin—as they move to London in the early ’80s as the AIDS epidemic begins.
According to an official synopsis from Channel 4, “the young trio, strangers at first, leave home at 18 and head off to London in 1981 with hope and ambition and joy. However, they’re walking straight into a plague that most of the world ignores.”
“Year by year, episode by episode, their lives change, as the mystery of a new virus starts as a rumor, then a threat, then a terror, and then something that binds them together in the fight,” reads the synopsis. “It’s the story of their friends, lovers and families too, especially Jill, the girl who loves them and helps them, and galvanizes them in the battles to come.”
“Together they will endure the horror of the epidemic, the pain of rejection and the prejudices that gay men faced throughout the decade. There are terrible losses and wonderful friendships. And complex families, pushed to the limit and beyond. This is a series that remembers the boys we lost, and celebrates those lives that burned so brightly.”
After creating and executive producing the two seasons of Queer as Folk for Channel 4 in the UK, Davies went onto revive Doctor Who, leading to the sci-fi series’ worldwide popularity that has carried on to this day. In 2009 Davies left the Time Lord and created another series about queer life, Cucumber, and its companion series, Banana—both of which aired on Logo in the U.S. in 2015.
Davies most recently wrote the Amazon miniseries, A Very English Scandal, about British Liberal political party leader Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), who, in 1979, was tried and acquitted of the murder of former lover Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw).
“I lived through those times, and it’s taken me decades to build up to this. And as time marches on, there’s a danger the story will be forgotten,” Davies said in a statement announcing The Boys.
“It’s an honour to write this for the ones we lost, and the ones who survived.”
The Boys is set to go into production next year.