This feature length drama-documentary records the brilliance — and the destruction — of one of the 20th century's greatest minds.
Alan Turing is the genius British mathematician who was instrumental in breaking the German Naval Enigma code during World War II saving millions of lives. He was also the visionary scientist who gave birth to the computer age, pioneered artificial intelligence, and was the first to investigate the mathematical underpinnings of the living world. Turing is one of the great original thinkers of the 20th century who foresaw the digital world in which we now live. In the eyes of many scientists today, Turing sits alongside Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin at the table of scientific greats.
Instead of recognition for his genius, Alan Turing was driven to a terrible despair and early death — by the nation he had done so much to save. Turing ended up being treated as a common criminal, simply for being homosexual at a time when it was illegal. In 1952, he was convicted of “gross indecency” with another man and was forced to undergo so-called ‘organo-therapy’ or chemical castration. Two years later, he killed himself with cyanide at age 41.
CODEBREAKER has an ambitious scope; a feature length drama-documentary that details the highs and lows of Turing's life, tracking his extraordinary accomplishments, his government persecution through to his tragic death in 1954.
In the last 18 months of his short life, Turing visited a psychiatrist, Dr. Franz Greenbaum, who tried to help him. Each therapy session in the film is based on real events. The conversations between Turing and Greenbaum explore the pivotal moments in his controversial life and examine the pressures that may have contributed to his suicide. The film also includes the testimony of people who actually knew and remember Turing. Plus, this documentary features interviews with contemporary experts from the world of technology and high science including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. These contributors bring Turing's exciting impact up to the present day, explaining why, in many ways, modern technology has only just begun to explore the potential of Turing's ideas.
An international production team will bring Turing into the 21st Century with fresh evidence, modern perspectives, and new voices. The producers have experience transforming complex scientific subjects into award-winning entertaining cinematic epics.
The film is directed by Emmy Award winner Clare Beavan whose credits include Daphne, Simon Schama's Power of Art, and Imagine: a Love Story. The film's drama scenes are written by Craig Warner whose credits include Maxwell, The Fall of the Lehman Brothers, and The Queen's Sister for Channel 4, which was nominated for several BAFTA awards. The cast features Ed Stoppard (Upstairs, Downstairs and Any Human Heart) as Alan Turing and Henry Goodman (The Damned United, Olivier award for Best Actor in 2000 for his role as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and in 1993 for Stephen Sondheim's musical Assassins) as Turing's psychiatrist.