by Nur Hussein, staff writer
The official trailer for The Imitation Game was released today, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as computer science legend Alan Turing (is there anyone Cumberbatch hasn’t played?).
The film documents the period during World War 2 when Turing and his crack team of eggheads at a place called Bletchley Park try and break the German code used by the Nazis to encrypt their communications. The Germans used a machine called Enigma to encrypt their communications, and the intercepted transmissions were called Ultra. Turing’s work later led to the creation of the first modern computer, and much of his theoretical frameworks are the foundations of modern computer science.
In the trailer, we get a glimpse of the characters, all based on real people. Besides Cumberbatch as Turing, we also see Keira Knghtly playing code-breaker Joan Clarke, Mark Strong as their superior Stewart Menzies, and Charles Dance as Alastair Denniston, who looks like one of the film’s antagonists. The real-life Denniston was in charge of operations at Bletchley Park and wasn’t a terribly helpful fellow, so I can see how this might play out in a dramatized version. The trailer also suggests it will portray Turing’s relationship with Clarke; their real life counterparts were engaged briefly for a time, but as Turing was gay, that didn’t last. The film has attracted some controversy over the portrayal of Turing and Clarke, with some alleging that Turing’s homosexuality had been “downplayed”.
Sadly, the real-life Turing had to hide his sexual orientation as Britain at the time made homosexuality illegal. When he was found out, Turing was sentenced to either prison or chemical castration, of which he chose the latter. He was found dead one day from cyanide poisoning, possibly a suicide. The UK trailer hints that these events might be portrayed as the opening scene of the video shows Turing being interrogated.
The film will be out this November (21st November in the States, and 14th November in the U.K.).
Nur is a tinkerer of programmable things, an apprentice in an ancient order of technomages. He enjoys fantasy, sci-fi, comic books, and Lego in his spare time. His favourite authors are Asimov and Tolkien. He also loves Celtic and American folk music. You can follow him on twitter: @nurhussein