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Bletchley Park: Code-breaking's Forgotten Genius

Documentary looking at Gordon Welchman, a codebreaker crucial to the allies defeating the Nazis in World War II. Filmed extensively at Bletchley Park.

Gordon Welchman was one of the original elite codebreakers crucial to the allies defeating the Nazis in World War II. He is the forgotten genius of Bletchley Park.

Filmed extensively at Bletchley Park, the centre for codebreaking operations during World War II, this documentary features the abandoned buildings where thousands of people worked tirelessly trying to crack the codes; Hut 6, where Welchman pioneered his groundbreaking work; and the machines that Welchman helped design.

Post-war, Welchman moved to the United States to be at the nerve centre of the computer revolution. He was employed by the Mitre Corporation, a US defence contractor, and engaged in top secret work. Recently released top secret documents reveal that the case of Gordon Welchman reached the desk of the British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, which then led to questions being asked in the House of Commons after Welchman's death.

Welchman's legacy continues to this day as Professor John Naughton and former CIA analyst Cynthia Storer reveal how Welchman's pioneering work in the field of traffic analysis led directly to the modern secret surveillance state, and particularly the use of metadata - as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

59 minutes

Last on

Sun 10 Dec 2017 22:15

Credits

Role Contributor
Director Russell England
Producer Russell England
Editor Anne Dummett
Executive Producer Thomas Viner
Production Manager Bethan Daunter
Production Coordinator Rebecca Fleetwood
Production Coordinator Jay Owen
Assistant Producer Sarah Clarke
Participant Rosamund Welchman
Participant Sinclair McKay
Participant Jimmy Thirsk
Participant Asa Briggs
Participant Jane Fawcett
Participant John Naughton
Participant Tony Comer
Participant John Scarlett
Participant Jenny Welchman
Participant Robert Everett
Participant Eric Ellingson
Participant Larry Hill
Participant Nigel West
Participant Diana Lucy
Participant Skye Duncan Wentworth
Participant David Hatch
Participant John Stevens
Participant James Bamford
Participant Cynthia Storer
Production Company Arrow International Media Ltd

Broadcasts

  • Mon 7 Sep 2015 21:00
  • Wed 9 Sep 2015 23:15
  • Sun 3 Apr 2016 18:00
  • Sun 10 Dec 2017 22:15

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