Theatre / Breaking the Code

1986 play by Hugh Whitmore based on the life of Alan Turing starring Derek Jacobi, who also played the title character in the BBC TV adaptation in 1996.

Provides examples of:

  • Captain Ersatz: Pat Green and Ron Miller, who were based on Joan Clarke and Arnold Murray respectively.
  • Downer Ending
  • Fairytale Motifs: Alan was a fan of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The TV movie ends with Someday My Prince Will Come playing over his empty house.
  • Real Name as an Alias: John Smith from Security, which everybody THINKS is an alias.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Turing is called before Dilly Knox, manager of Bletchley Park, because his overt homosexuality is upsetting his co-workers. Knox tries to convince Turing that discretion is not only appropriate, but kinder to his friends.
    Knox: Supposing I said that I'm mortally ill, and that I've only a year or so to live. Supposing I'd broken down and wept. Supposing I'd opened my heart to you, and said that I have no wish to die; that I am frightened and in despair. [laughs] Well, I can't believe that you'd welcome such a disclosure, finding it distressing, and embarrassing—somewhat inconsiderate. And so, having regard for your feelings as well as my own, it would seem to be both correct and appropriate to...moderate my response.
    Turing: [quietly] Are you dying? [Knox ignores the questionnote ]
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