Monday, March 17, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Imitation Game" film shoot at Nettebed

Reprinted from Friday, September 27, 2013 

Last Saturday I went to one of my favorite places -- the Sue Ryder sale at Joyce Grove in Nettlebed.  I love this old house and have often thought it has the perfect ambiance for a film shoot.  This past Saturday I noticed some old WWII vintage cars and bikes out in front of the house and so asked about them.  I was told that a film crew was getting ready to film some scenes for a WWII movie.  That peaked my curiosity so I went back to Nettlebed later in the week learned more about the film. 

Click on the links below if you want to see a short video of the scene being filmed. And yes, that is Benedict Cumberbatch!

And a few seconds  more:

 This is Joyce Grove at Nettlebed. Robert Fleming bought Joyce Grove and it’s 2000 acre estate in 1903. His grandson was Ian Fleming, the celebrated spy novelist who wrote the James Bond books. Ian Fleming was also a navel intelligence officer during WWII. Joyce Grove is where he spent his summers as a boy. It is now a Sue Ryder palliative care home and a great location for a film shoot.

According to "The film is a dramatic portrayal of the life and work of one of Britain's most extraordinary unsung heroes, Alan Turing. The pioneer of modern-day computing, Turing is credited with cracking the German Enigma code and the film is a nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team at Britain's top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II."

The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch of "Sherlock" fame in the role of Alan Turing. We were not supposed to take photos and we were also kept at quite a distance. These telephoto shots are all a bit blurry since they were hastily taken on a point and shoot camera. I must admit the crew was very nice about us being there and for a while turned a blind eye to our sneaking some photos.


 The scene we watched was of Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the character Alan Turing, walking up to this gate and exchanging words with a military guard.

For the minor characters and extras, there is a lot of hurry up and wait.

 The film also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech (who plays Tom Branson in Downton Abbey) and Matthew Beard.

 It also stars a lot of lovely, old vintage cars.

 Do I look like a member of the crew or a film shoot gawker?  Sadly, the later.  Once we were discovered taking photos, we were kindly asked to put our cameras away and step even further away.

Too bad the gate grills were constantly in the way. It was fun to see "Sherlock" in such a different context.

  This is what I saw a few days earlier when I went to the Nettlebed sale and found out there was a movie shoot happening there later in the week. I had no idea what the movie was. All I could find out was that it was set at Bletchley Park and was about Alan Turing and the breaking of the enigma code. Of course no one mentioned it is starring the hottest actor in England.

 It doesn't take much to create a scene from 70 years ago -- all you  need to do is add some old cars and trucks 

This gorgeous old house does the rest. Such a lovely time warp!

For more information about the movie:

This is an extraordinary and perfect ambiance to shoot a film. Being a Residential Filming Location is also a plus factor for it is accessible to everyone.


  1. We saw the film last week (Wiltshire, April 18th), a brilliant evening. It has been lovely discovering your pictures of some of the making of it, thank you for making them available!

  2. It turned out to be such an outstanding film. It was fun to see that this filming was for the very first scene in the movie.