9 False Facts From The Imitation Game Source:

“The Imitation Game,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is largely based on Andrew Hodges’ biography of Alan Turing, “Alan Turing: The Enigma.” One of the big problems with Turing is that there isn’t a lot that is known about him. A lot of the documents that trace his work back to British government have been destroyed and his personal life has always been a bit of mystery. One thing that we really know for sure is that he played a pivotal role in ending the Second World War because he was able to crack and intercept messages from the Nazis. So many big Hollywood movies blend fact and fiction and “The Imitation Game” is no exception. Here are 9 false facts from the film!


According to the screenwriter Graham Norton, the character Detective Nock is purely fictional. “He gives us another perspective…we can see how a normal person, not a bad person, could end up doing this horrible thing to Alan. We didn’t want to create this story of Alan being a sad character that bad things happened to, so we decided to show his final years through the perspective of this fictional detective…Nock is not a bad person, not an evil person. The terrible thing that happened to Turing was not his fault and was deeply unfair and the injustice of that is something we all have to reckon with,” he said. Source:


Alan Turing’s sexuality wasn’t uncovered when he was being investigated for being a Soviet spy. In real life, he was being investigated for “gross indecency.” He had reported an incident of petty theft to the police and in his report he concealed the fact that he was in a relationship with the suspected thief. The police pursued the charge, which ended with Turing submitting a five-page report admitting that he was involved with a man. Source: Youtube


Alan Turing’s codebreaking machine was not really named after his late friend and first love, Christopher. In reality, it was named the Bombe, after an earlier version of a Polish codebreaking machine, and was later nicknamed Victory. Source:


In the movie, John Cairncross, the Soviet spy, blackmails Alan Turing. He threatens to expose Turing’s sexuality if Turing reveals that he is a spy. In reality, these two never met. They both worked at Bletchley Park, but they worked in different departments, which would have prevented their paths from ever crossing. Source:


Joan Clarke (played by Keira Knightley) was not hired at Bletchley Park after solving a crossword puzzle in the newspaper. In real life, she was already working at Bletchley Park, performing clerical duties. She was in fact a math whiz and was recruited by the Government Code and Cypher School (GC & CS), which Alan Turing led. Source:


In the film, Alan Turing and Joan Clarke meet at Bletchley Park; however, in real life, they met at Cambridge University, so they already knew each other when she was recruited by GC & CS. Source:


Joan Clarke’s parents weren’t against her cracking codes at Bletchley Park. This was added in the movie for dramatization. Source:


In the movie, Alan Turing independently comes up with the design for the codebreaking machine; however, in real life, he collaborated with Gordon Welchman, a mathematician who is not mentioned in the film. Source:


Alan Turing and Joan Clarke never saw each other after the war. He wrote to her after his homosexuality had been uncovered, but she never came to visit him. As in the movie, she was engaged in real life. Source:
Cate Willikers

Cate Willikers