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Adam was the fifth episode in the second series of Torchwood.

Series: Torchwood - TV Stories
Series Number: Series 2
Story Number: 18
Enemy: Adam Smith
Setting: Cardiff, 2009
Writer: Catherine Tregenna
Director: Andy Goddard
Producer: Russell T Davies (Executive Producer)
Julie Gardner (Executive Producer)
Broadcast: 13th February 2008
Previous Story: Meat
Following Story: Reset



Adam, a creature of The Void, is drawn through the Cardiff rift by the intense field memories which are had by each member of the Torchwood team. Adam's power is to tamper with the memories of its preys, for sustaining its own survival. So, Adam would exist as long the Torchwood team could bear him in their memories. Adam is able both to implant memories and to alter the already existing ones of the people, merely by touching them with its hands. By such means, Jack, Gwen, Owen, Toshiko, and Ianto believe that Adam had been with them since Jack formed the team, three years ago. However, Adam has gotten with them just 48 hours before.

Beside surviving, Adam toys with their minds. Jack retrieves his childhood memories, about his last moments with his father and brother, at the Boeshane Peninsula. Gwen forgets about her fiance Rhys. Owen becomes an introversive geek and he has a crush on Toshiko. Toshiko unleashes her personality to start a passionate relationship with the same Adam, slighting Owen. Ianto, who discovers Adam's maneuver by not finding him in his everyday diary, is harassed by him, so Ianto believes that he has murdered three young women.

It's Jack's trust on Ianto that leads him to investigate the security feed of Torchwood. Jack discovers then that Adam has been tampering with each one of his team, during the latest 48 hours. Adam is captured then into a cell. Jack orders that all his team would swallow a Retcon amnesia pill to forget all what Adam has done on them. Except him, they do so. At the holding cells, Jack confronts the now weakened Adam for the last time then. Desperately, Adam attempts so Jack keeps some tampered childhood memories, which are so bewildering now, through threats and mental torture. Nonetheless, Jack takes his pill in time and Adam dies then.

On the next day, in the Torchwood team nobody understands why two days are missing in their minds. A floral arrangement and a note of love of Owen, which were intended for Toshiko, survive but Owen dismisses them with a scorning commentary. Also, a Torchwood-labeled bag is found and it had been inked by Adam. Nonetheless nobody knows about Adam, already.


Production crew


  • The regular opening flash of sequences is altered to feature two shots of Adam, including one of him holding a Dalek enhanced Tommy Gun.
  • The Boeshane Peninsula, and Jack's home is seen. However, the nature of the beings which attacked Jack's family isn't revealed as yet.
  • Gray is Jack Harkness's brother.
  • Adam says he is from "The Void", but it is not known if this is the same Void.
  • Adam adds himself into the Torchwood records placing himself as; Adam Smith, that he was born on 16th November 1982 and that he was recruited into Torchwood on 7th May 2005.

Story notes

  • The plot element of the group's memories being altered and a "new member" suddenly appearing among them is similar to the plot of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Conundrum", the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Superstar", the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Fifth Man", and the Torchwood novel Border Princes. The similarity to Border Princes is particularly striking as the infiltrator of the novel exhibits some of the same behavior shown by Adam in the episode.
  • Whilst filming the kiss between Jack and Ianto, the crew pulled a prank on John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd by not calling 'Cut!' after they had stopped filming, causing the kiss to continue for more than two minutes before the two actors realised what was going on.


  • BBC2 - 3.8 million viewers


  • It suggested amongst the internet community that Adam Mitchell would return in this episode. (It was false.)
  • As Adam Smith came from the Void it is widely believed that the Daleks and Cybermen could too. However the episode does not confirm if this is the same Void that involved the Daleks and Cybermen.

Filming Locations

  • Talbot Place, Cardiff (Exterior Gwen and Rhys' flat)
  • The Port Of Cardiff, Cardiff Docks, Wales (Jack comes out of sewers, meets Adam)
  • Canal Park, Butetown, Cardiff (Adam following Jack around chatting)
  • Coney Beach, Porthcawl (Boeshane Peninsula beach)
  • Merthyr Mawr Warren, Merthyr Mawr (Beach near (young) Jack's house)
  • Waterguard Pub (outside), Harbour Drive, Cardiff (Outside (young) Jack's house)
  • Fox Street, Splott, Cardiff (Ianto 'remembers' the murder in an alley)
  • BBC Studios, Upper Boat, Tonteg Road, Treforest Industrial Estate, Pontypridd,

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • On the vials containing blood samples from all Torchwood members, some of the names are wrong. When Jack grabs them (after Ianto confesses to being a serial killer), four labels are visible and two have the first and last names reversed. From left to right, they read: "Cooper, Gwen"; "Toshiko, Sato"; "Harper, Owen"; and "Ianto, Jones". Whoever labeled them obviously wasn't being very attentive at the moment they did so. They're human, and fallible. From a production standpoint, the Gwen and Owen are, arguably, common as first names whereas Toshiko and Ianto could've easily been mistaken for surnames.
  • Rhys Williams shows no sign of injury following the previous story.Opening dialouge clearly shows that Gwen and Rhys have been to France, allowing Adam to infiltrate Torchwood, meaning several weeks would have passed.
  • Although all the members of Torchwood takes Retcon to forget Adam, Rhys Williams does not despite having briefly met Adam. Adam did not touch Rhys, therefore he wasn't a permenant part of Rhys' memories. This might cause some confusion if Rhys mentions him to Gwen, but they've seen weirder. Jack would probably have contacted Rhys before going down to Adam's cell to explain the situation.
  • How can Adam be seen on the videos if he needs to make himself part of their mermories to be real? Shouldn't the videos just show no-one? No, as Rhys is able to see Adam without being manipulated, meaning he has corporeal form and therefore can be seen by CCTV cameras. The videos only show Adam touching his victims, not their memories. He needed to be in someone's memories to become real, but once doing so he did have physical form.
  • The episode suggests that Jack's memories of his father and younger brother are repressed, yet in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang he reacts when John Hart mentions his brother, Gray. Perhaps the actual knowledge of the individuals are still present -- i.e. Jack knows he has a father and a presumably deceased brother named Gray -- but the actual memories of the individuals have been repressed. Jack knows he lost his brother, but the Time Agency stole two years of his memory, and that could have included the last happy memory of him and his father, which is the memory that Adam dug up.
  • Theoretically, Adam would alter people's minds by implanting memories which would occupy the slots of the human brain which are, precisely, reserved for either old or very old memories. As the Retcon would affect the memories which are only of the last 24 hs, the pill wouldn't be able to modify 3 years of memory. Furthermore, into Jack's childhood memories, which would have been of about two hundred years leastwise, Adam had already sneaked as well. Most likely, something that disrupt memories causes Adam's influence to vanish.Or possibly the retcon wiping out the past 48 hours meant hours of implanted memories too, meaning that the memories Adam implanted will be gone too.
  • When Tosh points the gun at Jack, wouldn't she know that he's immortal? Like Adam said, when he implanted himself into their memories, it disturbs the real memories. Clearly, everyone except Jack has forgotten that he can't die. Even if it wouldn't kill him for very long, it would certainly put him out of action long enough for Tosh to keep Adam safe.


DVD releases

  • This story along with the rest of Torchwood Series 2 was released in a complete series boxset.

External links

Torchwood Series 2
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang  • Sleeper  • To the Last Man  • Meat  • Adam  • Reset  • Dead Man Walking  • A Day in the Death  • Something Borrowed  • From Out of the Rain  • Adrift  • Fragments  • Exit Wounds

This article uses material from the "Adam (Torchwood story)" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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