It’s a Sin [8/10]

A superb five-part Russell T. Davies creation, “It’s a Sin” unfolds the lives of three young gay men who hit London at the start of the 1980s, just before the Aids epidemic laid waste to that entire community. Colin is the quiet Welsh boy, played with devastating subtlety by Callum Scott Howells. Roscoe flees his Nigerian religious father; Omari Douglas nails his exuberant defiance. And the heart of the series is Olly Alexander playing the supremely hedonistic Ritchie from the Isle of Wight. Oh, and I must not forget Ritchie’s university friend Jill, played with heart-catching earnestness by Lydia West, who glues together the entire narrative. Not a moment is wasted as the three friends, living in the same house, careen through the eighties in a vivid blur of wild, funny, real events and scenes. It’s a Sin illumes both the era’s homophobia and Britain’s willfully neglectful Aids response, and heartbreak looms large, but mostly it is a celebration of life and love and belonging. Destined to remain a classic.

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