Code-I-Can-Null: The Brilliance of Alan Turing

After the resounding success of ‘Gulp Friction’ , film-maker Quieter Tarantula (click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about)has another sensational project on his mind. He wants to tell the story of Alan Turing, of his impact on the Second World War (which is just one of the many stellar achievements of his short life) in his own Tarantula way. In an exclusive revelation to THC Labs, he tells us the story of his movie:

Chapter 4:

Turing, is on his way to the most important event of his life. He has been summoned to a war council by senior leaders. On his way, he takes a trip down memory lane-through his childhood, his parents, his difficult times during the initial years of schooling and other aspects of his childhood. Particularly poignant is the memory of his father showing him a photograph of a species of mushrooms that grew in a place in India, the name of which was too complex to remember, where his father had gone for a vacation during his time as an Indian Civil Services officer.

Chapter 2:

A message is intercepted by the British command in India who are tense about the Axis occupation of colonial territory. The problem lies in that the Enigma machine is a state of the art encryption device which is almost impossible to decipher. They contact their homeland and apprise them of the situation.

[ At this point in the interview, we ask Tarantula to explain to us the working of the Enigma, and he points us towards this brilliant YouTube video:

 

Chapter 1:

It is the March of 1942, and Japanese forces have successfully conquered the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  Senior Nazi leader Rudedwarf Buttheight and his Japanese counterpart Shiteoki Ewwmoto come up with a scheme to take advantage of this Axis success. A message is sent from Germany to the Japanese forces in Andaman, encrypted using the Naval Engima:

WPGTRY TF LSKN!

ZOQ’C WJOMT GWGB OYX AJWCMNYI- JQLFPGAQ GXZXMUFQP IOVDNYYTK.

JKMIBDZSWBMJA: YWFS-E-GMA-ZBTY

 

Chapter 5:

This man of extraordinary talent arrives at London with the device that he (and fellow geniuses) have created to decipher the Enigma, called the Bombe.

At first, and as expected, the British leaders are sceptical about Turing’s claim. How could he have solved the problem that has haunted them for years? Should they just believe that he is a genius? Turing, in his usual unassuming and innocent manner, explains his logic and demonstrates the Bombe by decoding the message:

HITLER IS DOPE!

LET’S SUSHI THEM TEA DRINKERS-COMMENCE OPERATION MUSHROOMS.

AUTHORIZATION: CODE-I-CAN-NULL

At first, this message seems absurd. Turing is ridiculed, what was the meaning of ‘OPERATION MUSHROOMS’? What did ‘CODE-I-CAN-NULL’ mean? Were they openly mocking the Allies’ inability to decode the Enigma?

 

Chapter 6:

Turing is himself bewildered. He asks leave of the leaders so as to collect his thoughts and refocus on the problem in solitude. He moves to a vacant meeting room.

These seemingly random words ‘OPERATION MUSHROOMS’ and ‘CODE-I-CAN-NULL’ keep ringing in his ears.

The only thing he could associate mushrooms with was the photograph that his father had taken of a species of these exotic plants that grew in a part of India which was used as summer recluse by the officials of the British India command.

Suddenly and almost magically, the dots connect for Turing.

 

Chapter 8:

It’s the May of 1942,  the Allied forces have successfully defended Kodaikanal, a residential British establishment from an attack by a faction of Japanese troops who arrived from their station in Andaman & Nicobar.

 

Chapter 7:

Turing rushes back to the leaders and explains his understanding of Axis motives:

They plan to attack Kodiakanal, he says, where MUSHROOMS grow naturally. It’s plain as daylight! CODE-I-CAN-NULL is KODAIKANAL!!

[At this stage, Tarantula points out that this deductive, Sherlock Holmesy prowess was assigned to Turing’s character in the film just to tease the audiences who are going berserk at the prospect of Eggsbenedict Cucumberbatch playing him, who is famous for his portrayal of the legendary fictional detective in a TV series.] [Obviously, we were fascinated by how exactly did Turing decode the Enigma, and once again Tarantula pointed us to Youtube:

]

And that was the story of Indecent Tripsters, a pseudo-documentary hoping to bring to the fore the true genius of Alan Turing!

tar a1 aej

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

I have to state that Alan Turing’s body of work is too big to be encapsulated in just one article. Please click here to get another small dosage of Turing.

There are some great resources available for simulating the Enigma code:

https://startpad.googlecode.com/hg/labs/js/enigma/enigma-sim.html (This is the one that I used with the settings shown in the screenshot below)

Enigma Simulator

http://wiki.franklinheath.co.uk/index.php/Enigma/Sample_Messages

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.franklinheath.enigmasim

Image source:

Featured image

Read another post on Alan Turing by the same author: Hello World: Alan Turing and the origin of the modern day computer

About Madhur Oza

Aspiring artist. MBA. Erstwhile corporate cavalry. Live to eat. Nerd. Suburban Mumbaikar (pseudo Mumbaikar technically). After having been conditioned by society, it's time to be conditioned by the soul...

Check Also

Comparative movie reviews of two courtroom drama movies - Pink and Wrong Side Raju

Pink vs Wrong Side Raju: Comparative movie reviews

Last week I happened to watch two movies which can be loosely categorized as courtroom …

Leave a Reply