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Russell T Davies gives update on upcoming AIDS drama ‘The Boys’, reveals title is being changed

The 'Queer as Folk' creator's latest project will chart the lives of three young gay men living in 1980s London.

By Will Stroude

Words: Will Stroude

Russell T Davies has given an update on his upcoming Channel 4 drama about gay life and AIDS in the 1980s, revealing that the series is set to undergo a name change ahead of its release.

Announced last year, five-part drama The Boys is set to chart the lives of three 18-year-olds who move to London in 1981 over the course of a decade which saw the AIDS crisis envelop the LGBTQ community.

Appearing at a 20th anniversary screening of his iconic ’90s series Queer as Folk at BFI in London on Thursday (8 August), Davies confirmed that his latest project will begin filming in the autumn ahead of an expected 2020 premiere – but that the recentarrival of Amazon Prime’ sci-fi series The Boys has meant the name will be changed before it hits screens.

“It’s called The Boys at the moment but there’s an Amazon series called The Boys so we’re going to change the title,” the former Doctor Who showrunner said. 

“So it’ll have a new title, but it’ll be on next year.”

According to an official synopsis, the series formerly known as The Boys will see “a 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 rumour, then a threat, then a terror, and then something that binds them together in the fight.

“It’s the story of their friends, lovers and families too, especially Jill, the girl who loves them and helps them, and galvanises 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.”

Davies, who has said Queer as Folk faced criticism in the LGBTQ press upon its premiere for not prominently featuring an HIV storyline, previously said The Boys is dedicated to everyone whose lives have been affected by the AIDS crisis.

“I lived through those times, and it’s taken me decades to build up to this,” he said. £And as time marches on, there’s a danger the story will be forgotten.

“It’s an honour to write this for the ones we lost, and the ones who survived.”

Meanwhile, Davies is also set to serve as an executive producer on the planned reboot of the US version of Queer as Folk currently being developed by US network Bravo.