England’s Sherlock Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch is a very busy person. Recently I saw his outstanding performance as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, twice. I am hooked. Looking forward in time, I now realize that he has two movies scheduled for 2014 and three (to date) for 2015 release. My bones are weary just thinking about his schedule. So, what do you and I have to look forward to from Mr. Cumberbatch in 2014?
The Hobbit in 2014: Benedict will appear in film The Hobbit: There and Back Again, as well as The Imitation Game. This will be his third performance in the Hobbit trilogy voice roles as Smaug the dragon and as the Necromancer. Fans eagerly await the continuing epic. My grandchildren, many of whom are grown, are huge fans.
Alan Turing and The Imitation Game in 2014: In The Imitation Game, Cumberbatch will star as Alan Turing, a tormented Cambridge University educated math genius that was originally cast as Leonardo DiCaprio to play Turing. Keira Knightley will play Turing’s fiancée Joan Clark; an engagement between two mathematicians and cryptanalysts who worked together in World War II. She proposed, despite knowing his sexual interests, but he declined.
The somewhat eccentric Turing led the team at Bletchley Park that designed a machine called the “bombe” which cracked the Enigma codes used by German U-boats in the second world war. What a code-breaker! This deciphering done at Bletchley Park gave the Allied American forces a strong position in the Atlantic.
His brilliance led to the development of early computer science. He was thinking computers before the word was coined or common. By 1945 he pioneered computer science with an electronic computer design all the while really wanting to discover the workings of the human mind and artificial machine intelligence. As the father of the computer, Alan Turing set the prophecy for the 21st century’s technology. He was honored by being elected as a fellow of the Royal Society.
Despite his extraordinary genius, Turing is quite the haunted character as he is gay when being gay was cloaked in secrecy and not accepted by many. This led him to being arrested and tried for indecency as a homosexual, a criminal violation of the law written in 1885 and not overturned in England until 1967. To avoid prison time, he underwent injections of the female hormone oestrogen for a year to neutralize his sexual preference and libido; this is chemical castration. Gays were open to blackmail and considered security risks which caused him to lose his security clearance and his sponsors. Bigotry was unbeatable then; he was sliding into despair. Two years later, on June 7, 1954, he was alleged to have committed suicide (oops, spoiler; but then again this is a true story). He died of cyanide poisoning at the age of 47. Turing was a fan of Snow White (interesting), and a bitten apple was actually found by his bedside. British Parliament is considering a posthumous pardon now that the laws he was convicted of have become moot.
I have a grandchild who respects individuality and will likely be shaken by this film’s depiction of the vehemence towards homosexuality in the middle of the 20th century. She also is wild about the trendy, charismatic and sexy Benedict Cumberbatch; she is a smart young woman!
Become a code breaker for GCHQ in Britain:
Do you want to be the next code breaker who follows in the footsteps of Alan Turing? See Britain’s GCHQ webpage to find next Alan Turing by cracking a very difficult online code riddle.
Credits/Miscellaneous: Per UPI, “Norwegian filmmaker Morten Tyldum is directing this adaptation of the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. The film will co-star Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech and Matthew Beard.”
A Turing Quote: “A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.”
My Hope: I hope the movie covers all three major aspects of his life; code breaking, sexual preference, and computer development. And that Benedict Cumberbatch is brilliant!