It’s a Sin’s Doctor Who crossover contains a poignant tribute to actor who died of Aids

*It’s a Sin spoilers below*

Isobel Lewis
Friday 29 January 2021 08:52
Comments
It's a Sin trailer

It’s a Sin fans were overjoyed to see the show feature a Doctor Who crossover.

Written by Russell T Davies, Channel 4’s new drama follows a group of young gay men living in London in the 1980s at the beginning of the Aids crisis.

The five-part drama is led by Olly Alexander as Ritchie Tozer, an aspiring actor trying to break into the business. In the show’s fourth episode, Ritchie gets his big break in the form of a small role in a Doctor Who-esque show battling against the Daleks.

This reference came from Davies, who as well as creating pioneering dramas such as Queer as Folk, was responsible for bringing the long-running sci-fi series back to our screens in 2005.

However, the scene is more than a simple Easter egg for Doctor Who fans. It is a direct tribute to actor Dursley Linden, who appeared in the 1988 episode “Remembrance of the Daleks”. It’s this episode that Davies parodies in It’s a Sin.

Ritchie (centre) works on Doctor Who

Davies met McLinden through Jill Nalder – whose character inspired Lydia West’s Jill Baxter – but the actor tragically died at the age of 30 in 1995, seven years after contracting HIV.

Remembering McLinden as a “wonderful boy”, Davies told Doctor Who Magazine: “He was one of Jill’s friends and one of the first people I ever met who’d been in Doctor Who. I went to Jill’s 30th and there he was. He was already very ill, but he was so hilarious and lovely. I was thrilled to meet him.”

Read more: Callum Scott Howells on It’s a Sin and losing loved ones to Covid

He continued: “He became very wonderful in his Aids activism when he was ill. But to me, he was that boy from ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’. That's why I knew I had to write a Dalek scene in It’s a Sin.”

Ritchie’s time on Doctor Who also proves to be a turning point in It’s a Sin, after a make-up artist tells him there’s “something wrong” with his skin, leading him to get tested for HIV.

It’s a Sin returns Friday at 9pm on Channel 4, with all episodes streaming now on All 4.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in