We watched the Imitation Game last night. The story of Alan Turing and the code breaking efforts at Bletchley Park during World War 2.
As we watched it, a few things didn’t ring true, and afterwards I found myself wondering how much of it was fabricated for a modern day audience wanting a punchy story line.
The bits that didn’t seem right were:
- Turing demanding a job at Bletchley, rather than being invited by those in charge
- Turing failing to work well with others and singlehandedly inventing the whole thing
- Turing naming the code breaking machine after the boy he loved as a child
- Turing being blackmailed to keep quiet about a Russian spy in his team
- Turing writing to Churchill out of the blue
- The code breaking sudden breakthrough about using common words – surely, too obvious an approach to be missed by crack code breakers
- The slightly random way in which Turing calls off his engagement
- The code breakers arbitrarily deciding the whole thing needed to be kept secret
- The whole premise about the police investigating him in the 50s thinking he might be a spy (but this was obviously just a story telling devise, so didn’t both me.)
So, I looked at the Wikipedia entry this morning and sure enough, all of those bits are apparently factually inaccurate.
What I really want now is a version of the film that tells it as it actually was. These times in history were surely fascinating enough without making things up around the edges?