Alan Turing‘s life and the code breaking work at Bletchely Park during WWII has been depicted in the film “The Imitation Game”. But who was the real Alan Turing?
A filmed drama is fiction no matter if it depicts people who have really lived and historical events which have taken place. Behind the story in the film there are facts and real people. Turing’s family have expressed concerns about how he is described in the film which you can read about in the article “Don’t turn my uncle’s life into a romance, says Alan Turing’s niece“.
Joan Clark is somewhat romanticised shown in the film. She was the woman who helped crack the Enigma cyphers. She is important as women’s achievements so often are overlooked or forgotten in history. Her interview in a “BBC Horizon programme, from 1992, is one of the only instances in which she spoke about her time as a cryptanalyst”
You can learn more about Alan Turing: Creator of modern computing at BBC iWonder where he is introduced with
“Alan Turing was not a well known figure during his lifetime. But today he is famous for being an eccentric yet passionate British mathematician, who conceived modern computing and played a crucial part in the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in WW2. He was also a victim of mid-20th Century attitudes to homosexuality – he was chemically castrated before dying at the age of 41”.
In 2009 The British Governmen made a public apology for how Alan Turing was treated “Gordon Brown: I’m proud to say sorry to a real war hero”. Reading “Life story: Why code-breaker Alan Turing was cast aside by postwar Britain” may give you a better understanding of the time and its prejudices.
The Enigma Machine and the Bletchley Park Code Breakers