Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for It's a Sin
Since it premiered in January, It's a Sin has moved us to tears, broken streaming records, and led to an uptick in the number of HIV tests taking place.
With viewers clamouring for more information about the Pink Palace gang, the show's writer-creator, Russell T Davies, has revealed that many plot details were plucked from real life.
For instance, the show's central female character, kind and compassionate Jill (Lydia West), is based on Davies's real-life friend Jill Nalder. In a lovely bit of casting, real-life Jill actually has a role in the series as the mother of fictional Jill.
Davies has also revealed that he originally envisaged his landmark drama series about the HIV/AIDS crisis as stretching out over eight episodes. Channel 4 only wanted four, but Davies put his foot down and managed to increase the episode count to five.
“It could’ve been eight episodes long, and there would’ve been an extra flatmate, and he would’ve had adventures," Davies said in a new interview on Damian Barr's Literary Salon. “But I was offered four episodes, and that’s fine. Everything that I would’ve done kind of compacted inwards.”
Davies also revealed that the series was "always meant" to have an episode set in the present-day – nearly 30 years after we see Ritchie (Olly Alexander) losing his life to AIDS.
“It was never written, so it doesn’t exist, but it was kind of budgeted for," he continued. "We’d catch up with Jill at the age of 55 and she’s still working in mental and sexual health. It’s too long a story to describe, but you get the feeling that she’s trapped in that world, actually.”
Davies also revealed that we would have seen Jill "going on cruise ships and to conference centres and singing songs on the West End with all her mates".
She also would have reconnected with her Pink Palace flatmate, Roscoe (Omari Douglas), and learned that he has contracted HIV as a middle-aged man. "You know, 50 years old and he's got the virus having escaped it all those years," Davies said.
And she would have visited Ritchie's mother, Valerie (Keeley Hawes), on the Isle of Wight, where she would now be living in a care home. Once there, Jill would hear about the "sexual abuse at the heart of the Tozer household and [learn] how Valerie ended up like she did".
Frankly, it sounds like there would be more than enough material for a Jill-centric spin-off series.