Adam was the fifth episode in the second series of Torchwood. It explored Jack Harkness' origins through flashbacks.


An alien with the power to change memories infiltrates the team. With Captain Jack caught up in memories of his lost family and Gwen struggling to remember Rhys, it takes Jack’s love of Ianto to reveal the truth. Yet there's always a price to pay.


Adam, a creature of the Void, is drawn through the Cardiff rift by the intense memories of each member of the Torchwood team. Adam's power is to tamper with the memories of its prey, to sustain its own survival. Adam will exist as long the Torchwood team can bear him in their memories. Adam can implant and alter memories in someone merely by touching him with its hands. Jack, Gwen, Owen, Toshiko, and Ianto believe that Adam has been with them since the current team formed three years ago. However, Adam has been with them just forty-eight hours.

Beyond surviving, Adam toys with their minds. Jack retrieves his childhood memories of his last moments with his father and brother on the Boeshane Peninsula. Gwen forgets about her fiancé Rhys. Toshiko and Owen's personalities are reversed: Owen becomes an introverted geek and he has a crush on Toshiko. Toshiko unleashes her personality to start a passionate relationship with Adam, slighting Owen. Ianto has discovered Adam's manoeuvre by not finding him in his diary, so Adam makes Ianto believe that he has murdered three young women.
Adam torments Jack

A weakened Adam torments Jack.

Jack's trust in Ianto leads him to investigate the security feed of Torchwood. Jack discovers Adam has been tampering with each of his team during the last two days. Adam is captured and put into a cell. Jack orders everyone to swallow a retcon amnesia pill to forget what Adam has done to them. Except for Jack, they do so. In the holding cells, Jack confronts the weakened Adam for the last time. Desperately, Adam tries to make Jack keep some tampered childhood memories, so bewildering now, through threats and mental torture. Jack takes his pill and Adam dies.

The next day, nobody in the Torchwood team understands why two days are missing from their minds. A floral arrangement and a note of love from Owen, which were intended for Toshiko, survive but Owen dismisses them with a scorning comment. Also, a Torchwood-labeled bag is found. The label is written by Adam. Nobody knows who Adam is.



General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.



  • Gray is Jack Harkness's brother.


  • The Boeshane Peninsula and Jack's home are seen. However, the nature of the beings which attacked Jack's family isn't revealed.
  • Adam says he is from "the Void", but it is not known if this is the same Void as exists between alternate realities.


  • Adam adds himself into the Torchwood records, giving his name as Adam Smith, his birth date as 16 November 1982, and the date that he was recruited into Torchwood as 7 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" along with Dawn's inclusion in season five , 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. In the novel, Gwen and Jack note that this kind of thing could have happened again and again without their knowledge.
  • 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.
  • This story finishes with none of the main characters having any memory of what happened whatsoever, making it the only television story which no living in-universe characters can remember.
  • The regular opening flash of sequences is altered, for this episode only, to feature two shots of Adam.


  • 3.8 million viewers


  • It was 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. In DW: The Next Doctor the last of the Cybermen fell through the Void due to the events in DW: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, so it is entirely possible Adam fell through the Void too.

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,

Production errors

Rhys was never given an amnesia pill on screen which makes it possible the team remembered who Adam was.


If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.


DVD releases

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

External links


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