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I spy Tim van Eyken - now actor as well

21 Dec 14 - 06:27 AM (#3687530)
Subject: I spy Tim van Eyken - now actor as well
From: GUEST,Mr Red

his old school report(ing).
I was watching the film Imitation game and reading the credits while recounting the factual errors (it did take a while) - Tim van Eyken's name popped-up. I assumed - well you might - that he was cast as the accordion player in the underground during the wartime night sleepovers, he being a very fine melodeonist (and ceilidhnaut). But no! He was credited on-screen and apparently played an MI6 officer. The link above points-out his progression to acting. Anyone else spot him?

Factual errors I spotted (briefly) were that the German Navy were cited as using Enigma (they used a far more complex machine)
The code breakers seemed to have all the allied ship positions on tap.
The steam trains had curious over-head electric pick-up wires which I recall were not introduced before the 50's
Russian spy plot device was highly unlikely and in fact (I find now) was just plain wrong.
And............. well lets just say as an Electronic Engineer the depiction of his mechanical calculator was irksome, and no mention of Tommy Flowers & the world's first valve computor Collosus (predating Illiac and Eniac by years). Alan Turing was instrumental in the use of that computor.


21 Dec 14 - 07:37 AM (#3687538)
Subject: RE: I spy Tim van Eyken - now actor as well
From: GUEST,Peter

Tim's TV and film credits can be found on the IMdb web site


21 Dec 14 - 10:39 AM (#3687556)
Subject: RE: I spy Tim van Eyken - now actor as well
From: GUEST,Ed

Mr Red,

Your 'facts' need correcting in a couple of places.

Enigma was most certainly used by the German Navy. Indeed they started using it in 1926. Whilst their World War II version was more complex (adding an extra rotor in 1942, for example - the M4 Triton) it is entirely wrong to say that the Navy didn't use it.

Your comment on what you call "over-head electric pick-up wires" is also incorrect. Yes, the 25 kV AC overhead wasn't introduced until 1956, but there were various other systems in place from the '20s onwards.

I haven't seen the film yet, so you may be right in doubting the historical veracity of what was depicted.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean regarding Tommy Flowers and Collosus? The film isn't mean't to be about Lorenz is it?


21 Dec 14 - 06:53 PM (#3687647)
Subject: RE: I spy Tim van Eyken - now actor as well
From: GUEST,Chris Murray

When we saw the film we spotted him straight away. We also spotted him on stage in Shakespeare in Love. He was playing the accordion and also Lady Capulet!


21 Dec 14 - 07:10 PM (#3687653)
Subject: RE: I spy Tim van Eyken - now actor as well
From: GUEST,Peter

"I haven't seen the film yet, so you may be right in doubting the historical veracity of what was depicted."
I haven't seen it either but war films are notorious for anachronisms over railways and aircraft.


23 Dec 14 - 02:12 PM (#3688139)
Subject: RE: I spy Tim van Eyken - now actor as well
From: Mr Red

the WW2 German Navy version was called the Lorenz Cipher. It was never mentioned in the film.

The overhead pick-up wires were modern, high voltage. On railways not trams.

Tommy Flowers & Alan Turing met in 1939, he was asked by Turing about a programmable calculator. It was never mentioned in the film.

For a film based on fact there were too many unfacts for an altogether satisfactory experience. Much like the film Enigma purporting to place the story in American hands. Code-breakers would not have had full knowledge of allied ship movements but film showed it. All of these items were deliberately chosen. Not my usual fare of continuity errors, I didn't spot those.

Can't say how Tim did, I didn't know in advance, so wasn't looking out for him.

When I spot them in documentaries it makes you doubt everything after that.. Like a mole that changes cheeks - why was it necessary to mirror a clip? It can't happen accidently.


23 Dec 14 - 09:19 PM (#3688256)
Subject: RE: I spy Tim van Eyken - now actor as well
From: GUEST,juik

hope he acts ok


24 Dec 14 - 04:50 AM (#3688295)
Subject: RE: I spy Tim van Eyken - now actor as well
From: Mr Red

If it is like his melodeon playing and dancing, you can bet he is precise and well worth watching.