Executive Producer: John Drury
Producer: Jack Emery
Director: Herbert Wise
BREAKING THE CODE/Intro by Russell Baker
In World War Two the Germans came up with what seemed to be an unbreakable code called Enigma. This is one of the machines they used to encode and decode their messages.
Among other things, the Germans used the code to position their so-called submarine wolf packs on the Atlantic shipping lanes. These submarines were sinking British shipping at a prodigious rate in what Winston Churchill called the Battle of the Atlantic.
Churchill worried that Britain would be starved into defeat -- unless the submarine campaign was stopped.
Breaking the Enigma code was one way to stop it. If the British could read Enigma messages, their navy could locate and destroy the subs.
"Breaking the Code" is based on incidents in the life of a mathematical wizard named Alan Turing.
Turing was a key figure in solving the Enigma puzzle, but he was important for other reasons too.
Before the war -- when he was still in his twenties -- he pioneered the development of the digital computer and even pushed the theory that computers could be made capable of thinking.
Men like Turing are usually hard to take for government people who need their brains but fear they're too different from you and me to be entirely trustworthy.
Turing may be a hero for breaking one code. But in tonight's story, breaking another makes others see him as a threat to society.
Incidentally, Derek Jacobi's stammer in tonight's performance is not an effort to repeat something he did marvelously in "I, Claudius." The real Alan Turing also stammered.
Now complete in one episode, Breaking the Code.
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