- What is the true legacy of Alan Turing?
- How different are the events of the film to the true story, and how problematic are those differences?
- How are the contributions of LGBT+ people remembered?
Based on the amazing true story of Alan Turing, The Imitation Game follows a secret team working for the British Secret Service who were trying to crack the Enigma code during World War Two.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Turing, a once-in-a-generation mind who joined the British war effort after becoming a part of the Government Code and Cypher School in 1938. The team at Bletchley Park worked under huge pressure and utmost secrecy as they attempted to break the Germans’ code, a task that would turn the course of the war if they succeeded.
In our companion podcast, we spoke to Professor Chris Grey, an expert in Organisational Theory and author of Decoding Organisation – a book detailing the inner workings of Bletchley Park during World War Two.
In our chat we discuss some of the key bones of contention about the accuracy of the film, including Alastair Denniston’s portrayal as someone opposed to Alan Turing’s work, whether MI6 were involved with the passing of information to the USSR through Soviet spies, the complexity of Enigma, the role of women at Bletchley and whether Turing was as difficult a character as is made out in the movie.
We also cover loads of bits that weren’t mentioned in The Imitation Game, like the role of Polish codebreakers before the war, and how decoded messages were passed securely to military commanders and politicians in London.
It’s such a fascinating chat and adds so much more detail to the events of the film.
We also talk with John Leech, a Lib Dem Councillor and former MP who was one of the key figures behind the Alan Turing Bill, which secured pardons not only for Turing but for tens of thousands of men convicted of gross indecency because of their sexuality.
He tells us how he and his colleagues managed to get the bill through Parliament and how it felt to have a key role in such a significant law.