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Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley biopic of GCHQ code breaker Alan Turing 'romanticises' relationship

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 25, 2013

  • Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing in a new biopic

  • The Imitation Game is a biopic of Alan Turing

  • Keira Knightley stars in the biopic The Imitation Game

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SECOND World War code breaker Alan Turing’s niece has questioned the accuracy of a biopic about her uncle starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.

Inagh Payne has accused The Imitation Game of romanticising the relationship between her uncle, who played a pivotal role in breaking the Enigma code, and Joan Clarke.

Dr Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon for a 61-year-old conviction for homosexual activity.

He was chemically castrated following his conviction in 1952 for “gross indecency” and lost his security clearance, meaning he was no longer able to work for GCHQ where he had continued to work following service at Bletchley Park during the war.

Dr Turing, who died aged 41 in 1954 and is often described as the father of modern computing, was granted a pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy by the Queen following a request from Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

Inagh Payne particularly expressed concern over the casting of Keira Knightley as parson's daughter Joan Clarke, who worked at Bletchley Park with Turing and was briefly engaged to him.

"Joan Clarke was rather plain," Payne told the Daily Mail. "But she was very nice, bright and a good friend to Alan.

“When he told her about how he was she accepted it, didn't make a scene or anything like that."

"I think they might be trying to romanticise it. It makes me a bit mad. You want the film to show it as it was, not a lot of nonsense."

The Imitation Game, starring Cumberbatch as Dr Turing and directed by Headhunters' Morten Tyldum, is due for release next year.

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  • iliveah  |  January 11 2014, 9:31PM

    Understand the neice's opinion. However, this is a DRAMA film 'based on a true story'. It is not a documentary. Regardless, curious how AT's niece would have any knowledge whatsoever of details regarding his private relationships and love life. Highly doubtful she witnessed AT informing his girlfriend that he was gay.

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