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

It explored Jack Harkness' origins through flashbacks and gave more context to Gray, the mysterious person first mention by John Hart in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. It was ultimately revealed that Gray was Jack's brother. Additionally, it is the only form on media to ever show Jack's father and mother.

It also explore more of the relationship between Jack and Ianto.

From a production point of view, it marked the last time Catherine Tregenna wrote for Torchwood. The next time Tregenna would write anything within the DWU, would be The Woman Who Lived, over seven years later.


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.


The Torchwood team is investigating a strange box when Gwen Cooper arrives, slightly late because she was spending time with Rhys. Looking around, she sees Adam sat down, and asks in confusion who he was, to which Adam replies "That's what I said to you on your first day...remember?" Putting a hand on her shoulder, Gwen suddenly has false memories of Adam being here. Smiling, she hugs him.

Adam is then seen editing the Torchwood database to add his file into it. Tosh asks him what he was doing, which he replies as updating details on rift activity. Adam and Tosh then kiss, much to the displease of Owen, who is wearing glasses. Meanwhile, Jack is down in the cells where he sees a young boy, which causes him to stop and stare. Gwen calls him, but when Jack turns around again, the boy is gone.

Gwen is then seen in her apartment. Rhys comes up behind her and attempts to give her a hug, but Gwen, thinking he is a stalker, points a gun at him and gets Jack to come over to her apartment. We learn that all of Gwen's memories of Rhys have been wiped, to which she even thinks he put up photos of them together while she was gone. However, Jack and the rest of the Torchwood team simply dismiss it as temporary amnesia due to stress.

Owen is seen trying to flirt with Tosh unsuccessfully over beers. Jack is off trying to catch another Weevil down in the sewers, but then encounters a strange man whom Jack refers to as "Dad?", who tells him to get out, to which he does quickly. Exiting the sewers, Adam seemingly appears out of nowhere, but when Jack questions him how he got here, Adam simply implants false memories into Jack that he came with him. Adam asks him what he saw in the sewers, to which he replies simply, "My past."

At Torchwood Hub, Tosh has found out the box is made of wood. Owen asks on the origins of the box, to which Ianto replies that Adam found it in an excavation, and he will go check in his diary. Owen again tries to flirt with Tosh but fails and ends up managing to anger her. Owen is devastated.

Gwen is seen at a general store with Rhys. When they get to checkout, the cashier leaves to answer a call, despite clearly being able to see Rhys there. Rhys, angry, begins to go off on a rant, to which Gwen laughs. She has regained some of her memories back.

Ianto is flipping through his diary and is shocked that he has made no mention of Adam at all. Adam then appears behind him, and Ianto questions who he really is. Adam's hand starts to flicker, and we learn that Adam exists simply from people being able to remember him. Discovering Ianto knows he is not who he says he is, he decides to implant memories of Ianto killing and strangling three women, claiming that he forgot about the thrill he got from doing this. Ianto sinks to the floor, crying. Some time later, Jack comes in and Ianto tells him to put him in his vault because he is a monster. However, Jack refuses to believe it, even after he uses the best lie detector on the planet and confirms he is telling the truth. He pulls up CCTV footage of the Hub and finds Adam implanting the false memories.

Jack, after checking, finds that not only is there lacking a blood sample of Adam, his file was updated only 24 hours ago. When he comes back into base along with Tosh, Owen, and Gwen, he holds him at gunpoint. Gwen and Owen are confused by this as they still believe Adam as part of the team, and Tosh, upset, pulls out her gun at Jack. Ianto grabs her and Jack quickly sends Adam to the cells.

Jack and the others then go to the meeting room to discuss Adam. After remembering their true memories, Gwen of Rhys in high school, Owen of his tenth birthday, Tosh on her fondness of maths and Ianto recalling his girlfriend, Lisa, Jack hands them all an amnesia pill to wipe out their memories of Adam, thereby erasing his existence.

The next day, all of the Torchwood team are confused why they cannot recall anything from the past 48 hours. Owen has taken off his glasses again, and Tosh has also reverted to her old personality. Jack is seen messing with the box when a component falls out. Ianto comes in, asking if he's seen his diary, which Jack gives back to him, saying "Measuring tapes don't lie." Picking up a plastic bag, he asks Ianto: "Who's Adam?" Ianto replies that he doesn't know and leaves. Jack, fiddling with the box and the component, manages to open it, finding it to be filled with sand, which he stares at ominously.



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.



  • Owen tries to give Tosh a screen cleaning in the form of a mouse holding cheese.

Food and Beverages

  • Adam implants a false memory of making coffee for Gwen.
  • Rhys was going to make Gwen "spag bol", however he claims he couldn;t do it cause of his garlic, saying "can't kiss a girl with garlic breath".
  • Owen makes Tosh smoked salmon sandwichs. Tosh goes to get a beer to drink whilst eating them.


  • Gwen and Rhys met at college. There first kiss was at a supermarket.
  • Gray is Jack Harkness's brother.



  • Adam implants a false memory of playing basketball with Gwen.


  • 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 a staple trope of the science fiction genre.
  • 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 none of the regulars can remember.
  • The regular opening flash of sequences is altered, for this episode only, to feature two shots of Adam, furthering the illusion he is part of the Torchwood team.
  • The sound effects used for the shrieks of the unseen creatures which invaded Jack's home when he was young were the same ones used for the Krillitanes in TV: School Reunion.
  • Owen's phone conversation with his mother suggests a difficult relationship between the two. However, the series never explored the matter any further.
  • 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.


  • 3.8 million viewers

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

to be added


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

  • Adam, along with the rest of series 2, was released in a complete series box set in 2008.

External links

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