6 user 3 critic

Codebreaker (2011)

The highs and lows of Alan 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... See full summary »


Clare Beavan, Nic Stacey


Craig Warner (dramatic reconstructions written by)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Stoppard ... Alan Turing
Henry Goodman ... Franz Greenbaum
Paul McGann ... Self - Narrator (voice)
Asa Briggs Asa Briggs ... Self - Codebreaker, Bletchley Park
Jean Valentine Jean Valentine ... Self - WRNS and Bombe Operator, Bletchley Park
David Leavitt ... Self - Alan Turing's Biographer
Rolf Noskwith Rolf Noskwith ... Self - Codebreaker, Bletchley Park
Dermot Turing Dermot Turing ... Self - Alan Turing's Nephew
Christopher Morcom Christopher Morcom ... Self - Christopher Morcom's Nephew (as Christopher Morcom QC)
Ian Stewart Ian Stewart ... Self - University of Warwick (as Professor Ian Stewart)
Martin Davis Martin Davis ... Self - Author, 'Engines of Logic' (as Professor Martin Davis)
Matt Parker ... Self - Queen Mary, University of London (as Dr Matt Parker)
Steve Wozniak ... Self - Co-Founder, Apple
Alma Whitten Alma Whitten ... Self - Google (as Dr Alma Whitten)
Tony Sale Tony Sale ... Self - National Museum of Computing


The highs and lows of Alan 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 this drama documentary 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 early death. The film also includes the testimony of people who actually knew and remember Turing. Plus, this film 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. Written by Patrick Sammon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Alan Turing: I wish they would just leave me alone.
See more »


Features Blade Runner (1982) See more »


Lili Marlene
Lyrics by Hans Leip
Music by Norbert Schultze
Performed by Marlene Dietrich
See more »

User Reviews

heartbreaking story
1 January 2015 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

It seems that people on IMDb didn't like this. I did. I thought it was about a lot more than Alan Turing being gay, and I appreciated seeing this after seeing "The Imitation Game." People keep saying they want more science. A lot of it would go over people's heads.

It states right in the documentary that what made Turing a genius was the fact that, although others had broken the Enigma code, no one had ever broken the German navy code. Turing built a machine to do that. He also invented the idea of the computer years before its time, even talking about taking a computer to the park, like a i-phone. The documentary also shows some of his early inventions.

The documentary's conceit is that Turing (played here by Ed Stoppard) is talking with a psychiatrist (Henry Goodman), as he goes over his life. There are interviews with the woman to whom he proposed, Joan, with the psychiatrist's daughters, Turing's nephew, and others.

I think we learn more about Turing than just that he was gay. That he was gay is important because after serving his government and, according to Churchill, shortening the war by two years, he was chemically castrated. Pretty shabby treatment. The estrogen had an effect on his brain as well. And we know what happened in the end. A sad statement about the way heroes are treated.

I think this is a good companion piece to "The Imitation Game," and I recommend it.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Channel 4 [UK] | Official site





Release Date:

21 November 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Codebreaker See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed