A couple of days ago the Queen official pardoned codebreaker Alan Turing for the ‘crime’ of being gay at a time when it was illegal, which led to a criminal record and chemical castration, and many believe also resulted in his committing suicide. It’s a good time then for the emergence of the first official picture of Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing in the biopic The Imitation Game – indeed the pardon is the reason the film’s Twitter account tweeted the pic.
Turing is a pioneer of modern-day computing who is credited with helping crack the fiendish German codes, such as Enigma, during the Second World War. The film will chronicle the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British Establishment.
Tragically in the 1950s Turing admitted to the police he was gay while reporting a robbery, believing they would protect him and catch those who’d stolen from him. Instead it was him who found himself in court. After he was convicted he was shunned by the establishment and despite his incredible mind he found himself pushed to the sideline. He committed suicide (although some say it was an accident) not too long afterwards.
Cumberbatch stars alongside Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech and Matthew Beard. The Imitation Game will be out sometime in 2014.