To celebrate Alan Turing 100th birthday, I want to watch a documentary about his life. However, there are several documentaries to choose from.

Which documentary about Alan Turing is your favorite?

Please include only one documentary per answer.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Happy Turing's day! $\endgroup$
    – a06e
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe this should be CW ? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Suresh Agree, but I didn't see (and still don't see) how to make that happen. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 3:04

4 Answers 4


a leading one is Codebreaker with a list of reviews/publicity here [unfortunately several are behind paywalls]. here is one web review by chris harvey & with quotes by the writer warner.

this documentary originated by channel 4 seems balanced and avoids hagiography, looking at all the aspects of his complex life. has award winning writer, actors and acclaimed producer.


Breaking the Code (BBC, 1996) is personally my favourite. It is, however, much more on the side of 'factual drama' than strictly 'documentary' style. It feels well researched and it faithfully sticks to what was known about him, from his academic work to his mannerisms. I don't feel it embellishes or over-dramatizes his life. There is an excellent scene (for what was a fairly mainstream show) where Derek Jacobi (as Turing) explains his work in context to his contemporaries/predecessors, Gödel and Bertrand Russell. The Enigma work features of course, but doesn't dominate the story, which spans from his school-days to his death.


this HuffingtonPost video documentary/interviews/transcript was produced at the 2012 ACM Turing Award celebration & includes commentary by prior Turing award winners incl Bachman (1973), Allen (2006), Cerf (2004), Pearl (2011), also Papadimitriou author of widely read complexity theory textbook.


closely related is a highly-viewed documentary circulating on a lego turing machine built in honor of the 100th anniversary of Turings birthday, by CWI Phd student & software engr/researcher


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.