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AIDS: The Unheard Tapes

Country: United Kingdom, Language: English, 60 mins

  • Director: Mark Henderson
  • Producer: Morgana Pugh

CGiii Comment

Kudos to the actors and the production staff...for making something, that could have gone so horribly wrong, into a work of heart-breaking excellence.

The sensitivity and the technicality are - quite simply - breath-taking...and, tear-inducing. 

Whoever made these tapes, whoever found them...and, whoever came up with the idea to film them...thank you. Thank you for bringing some of my friends back to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I can write no more.

To my old, old friends...never forgotten. x


The(ir) Blurb...

This innovative three-part documentary series tells the story of the British AIDS crisis as it’s never been told before.

Forty years ago, a mysterious disease first appeared in Britain’s gay community. A deadly and complex virus with no known cure, the ‘gay plague’ arrived at a time when homophobia and discrimination were commonplace. Few could talk openly about their experiences - or their illness.

As the crisis grew, a small group of pioneering researchers began recording audio interviews with infected gay men and their friends. These interviews - a frank, intimate and sometimes humorous account of life at the heart of the AIDS epidemic - were archived in the British Library and have never been broadcast before. The series brings them to life with young actors who lip-sync to the original voice recordings.

AIDS: The Unheard Tapes combines these lip-synced historical testimonies with modern interviews from British activists, scientists, doctors and nurses who lived, worked and campaigned throughout the crisis.

Starting with the death of Heaven barman Terry Higgins in 1982, and ending in 1996 with the emergence of the first successful drug combinations, the series explores how pioneering medics and the gay community worked together raise awareness, fight prejudice, and ultimately find ways to treat the devastating virus.

Cast & Characters

Russell Tovey (as Narrator (1 episode, 2022))
Blake Patrick Anderson (as Martyn (1 episode, 2022))
Alan Turkington (as David Ruffell (1 episode, 2022))
Dickie Beau (as Michael (1 episode, 2022))
Hugo Bolton (as Tony (1 episode, 2022))
Luke Hornsby (as John (1 episode, 2022))
Poppy Shepherd (as Emma (1 episode, 2022))
George Ure (as Tony O (1 episode, 2022))