BBC Radio 4, 26 April 2008
thriller The Small Back Room is best remembered in the 1949 film starring David
Farrar. The story is a familiar one – of a maverick scientist defying his superior’s orders and saving the world
from the threat of a deadly bomb. In this production Sammy Price (Damian Lewis)
was not valued by anyone for his work. Eventually he came across a sophisticated device that kills people on impact and cannot
easily be defused. He defies his boss’s (Paul Jesson’s) orders and travels down to Kent
to find a solution. His colleague Stuart (Will Keen) has begun work, but unfortunately gets it wrong and is blown up. Sammy
finds a second bomb and defuses it after considerable effort. His work is rewarded, while his department’s future survival
is guaranteed. Lewis invested the role with considerable light and shade, with emotions ranging from fear to total commitment.
Richard Stevens was responsible for an entertaining adaptation.