The Imitation Game

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?