source TARDIS Wikia
Adam Smith was a memory-changing entity who could only survive if people remembered him. He infiltrated Torchwood Three and temporarily passed himself off as one of them.
Adam escaped from “the Void” and made for the Torchwood team, because their memories were unique. He inserted himself into the memories of all the team members, and though he had only come into their lives two days before, they thought he had joined Torchwood years before.
Adam made Jack Harkness trust him with his secrets and re-awakened memories of his lost brother, Gray, from Boeshane Peninsula. He also made Toshiko Sato love him and believe they had a close, physical and long-lasting relationship, even altering her personality to make her bolder. He also changed the personality of Owen Harper, making him behave similar to Tosh, but more open with his feelings. Though he made Gwen Cooper regard him as a friend, as an unintended side effect, he made her forget about her fiancée, Rhys Williams. Ianto Jones noticed that Adam never got a mention in the logs that he meticulously kept of his work. As retaliation for his suspicion and threat to expose Adam, he made Ianto believe he had murdered three women. The false memory of the serial murders drove Ianto mad; he reported this to Jack who saw Adam making Ianto remember him using the Hub’s CCTV.
Jack threatened Adam with his gun before locking him in the vault. Jack then gave the rest of the team retcon pills to forget about Adam (after having deleted the CCTV recordings and other evidence). In a last bid to survive, Adam inserted himself into one of Jack’s memories of his childhood. Jack took an amnesia pill to forget. As nobody now remembered Adam, he died. His body shimmered and disappeared into nothing.
Although the Torchwood team had no knowledge of Adam any more, some evidence of his existence remained: for example, his name was found on a bag containing an alien artefact in Torchwood’s possession (which was in some way tied to Adam) and Rhys, having briefly met Adam, would have retained his scant memories of the man. (Adam)
Adam was a desperate and selfish being who valued self-preservation above all else, as shown by him implanting false memories of himself in all of the Torchwood team and going so far as to change their personalities in order to survive. When Jack confronted him about this in the holding cells, he claimed the way he changed them was for the better, a claim he backed up by reminding Jack he helped him remember who he was and how he rid Owen and Toshiko of their cynicism and lack of confidence, respectively. He came to the Torchwood team because he considered their memories unique and said Jack’s were particularly unique, describing them as ‘extraordinary’. He clearly had feelings for Toshiko, as he made her believe they shared an intimate, year-long relationship.
Despite claiming he didn’t mean any harm, Adam was quite sadistic as shown when he implanted traumatic memories into Ianto of him remorselessly strangling three women to death. Ultimately, however, this exposed Adam due to Jack’s refusal to believe that Ianto was a murderer. (Adam)
Adam survived only by people’s memories of him. If he were forgotten, he would fade away. Adam inserted himself into the memories of others through touch. He would place his hand on the target’s shoulder and merely say “remember”. Inserting himself into people’s memories often wiped out other memories. Presumably, Rhys’ memory of Adam was either too minor to sustain him, or did not count as Adam did not insert himself into Rhys’ memories himself. Depending on the memories he implanted, Adam could change the personality of others as he did to Tosh, Owen, and Ianto; making them bolder, kinder and have a mental break down respectively. (Adam)
BEHIND THE SCENES
- Coincidentally, Adam’s choice of the “generic” human last name, Smith, calls to mind the Doctor’s own choice of John Smith as an alias.
- This is is also the seventh time in the revived Doctor Who franchise that a notable character with this last name has appeared, after Mickey Smith, Sarah Jane Smith, her son Luke Smith, her daughter Sky Smith, their Xylok supercomputer Mr Smith and the Doctor’s human version, also John Smith.
- The concept of a being altering the team’s minds and infiltrating Torchwood was first explored in the novel Border Princes. The major difference is that in the novel, the character (James Mayer) genuinely believed he was both human and a member of Torchwood Three .
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