Benedict Cumberbatch is certainly the man of the moment - and if you're the man of the moment, you throw your hat in the ring for a Time magazine cover. The British actor takes pride of place in the "genius" issue, referencing his Oscar-tipped portrayal of code breaker Alan Turing.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch [centre] appears on the cover of Time magazine's 'Genius' issue

The Imitation Game is generating considerable buzz and as the tragic hero of Bletchley Park, Cumberbatch is at the forefront of the campaign.

Speaking during the accompanying interview, "This man's achievements are extraordinary," he said of Turing, "Everything that's been thrown at computers-all of it has only managed to work because of his idea of creating something universal in the first place."

More: read our full review of The Imitation Game

The have also published an essay about Turing by its former editor Walter Isaacson. 

"Turing's heroic and tragic life provides a compelling counter to the concept that there might be no fundamental difference between our minds and machines."

The Imitation GameBenedict Cumberbatch is considered third favourite for the Oscar for best actor, behind Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton

"As we celebrate the cool inventions that sprouted this year, it's useful to look back at the most important invention of our age, the computer, which along with its accoutrements, microchips and digital networks is the über innovation from which most subsequent Ubers and innovations were born." 

Turing, one of Britain's great heroes, was prosecuted for "homosexual acts" in 1952, though accepted treatment with oestrogen injections (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. The treatments severely affected his wellbeing and life and the code-breaker killed himself by cyanide poisoning, 16 days before his 42nd birthday.

Benedict CumberbatchPhotographer Dan Winters said Benedict Cumberbatch turned up to the shoot in a "cool and modern retro version" of what he wore in The Imitation Game

Speaking about Cumberbatch's photogenic nature, photographer Dan Winters - who shot him for the cover - said: "I'm not as concerned as I would normally have to be about where I'm positioning him, where I'm lighting from. A lot of actors are pretty asymmetrical, and you have to work around that."

More: how Benedict Cumberbatch took The Imitation Game from Leonardo DiCaprio

"He showed up with a cool and modern retro version of what he wore in the film - something, he told me, he thought Turing would have worn if alive today," Winters told TIME LightBox. "He had done his work and we used that in the shoot."

Cumberbatch remains the third favourite to win Best Actor at the Oscars in February 2015, behind his good friend Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything and Michael Keaton for Birdman

Watch the trailer for The Imitation Game: