I hope the new film based on the life of Alan Turning, a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist, called The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Kinightley is successful and faithful to the life of Turing, given how badly he was treated after the war he helped to win.
During World War Two, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Britain’s codebreaking centre. and devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.
Winston Churchill said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany. Turing’s pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in several crucial battles.
After the war Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952, when such acts were still criminalised in the UK. He accepted treatment with estrogen injections (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning.
An inquest determined his death a suicide; his mother and some others believed it was accidental. On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated.”
The Queen of England, in a homage to the too little too late cliché, granted him a posthumous pardon on 24 December 2013.