Clayton Littlewood talks to Andrew Hodges, author of ‘Alan Turing: The Enigma’. Andrew’s biography forms the basis for ‘The Imitation Game’. The film is not the first portrayal of Alan Turing, the mathematician who broke the Enigma Code during the Second World War and developed the first computers. In 1986 Andrew Hodges’ biography had led to the play ‘Breaking the Code’, which was later made into a film. Both versions starred Derek Jacobi.
The tragedy of Turing’s life was that he was convicted for ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 and two years later he committed suicide.
Andrew, a mathematician himself and LGBT activist, tells us what motivated him to write the book and what experiences he made when doing the research. He and Clayton also discuss the Queen’s posthumous a royal pardon and ‘A Man From the Future’, a piece by the Pet Shop Boys, which is dedicated to Alan Turing and premiered on 23rd July at this year’s Proms. When producing the 45-minute-piece, the Pet Shop Boys also worked with Andrew Hodges and his book. Andrew offers an insight into Turing’s personality and the complicated factors that led to Turing’s death in 1954. He also recalls his time with the Gay Liberation Front in the 1970s.
Andrew’s 1983 biography ‘Alan Turing: The Enigma’ has just been published in a new edition in the wake of the release of ‘The Imitation Game’.