Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

'Adam' is a being who can only exist by inserting memories of himself into the minds of others.

Unfortunately Homer Simpson was right – when you learn something new, sometimes it pushes something else out.

As a result, when Gwen shows up to work to find that 'Adam' has been a member of the team for almost as long as she has, and everyone else confirms it, he wastes no time inserting himself into her memory too. Unfortunately this causes her to forget her fiancee Rhys.

Unfortunate, really, for Rhys.

This is a really great idea for a story, one which gets explored a little here, but not really enough. For example, I don't think anyone made the connection between the two events above – that Gwen forgot not just Rhys, but apparently also Adam for a brief moment that morning.

Following the theory that a man is the sum of his memories to something of an extreme, the different team-members' personalities begin to change. Ianto becomes a tortured killer. Owen somehow becomes a mummy's boy.

What's worth noting is that Adam doesn't seem to have the ability to deliberately erase anyone's memory, and yet Ianto conveniently forgets confronting him.

Ultimately this is about how much they construct their impression of the past from their memories, and how much from exterior evidence, such as the testimony of others, Ianto's written diary, (which he realises doesn't mention Adam anywhere) and Torchwood's security-cameras. A nice touch is the addition of a shot of Adam to this episode's opening credits.

However as with Rhys' revised perceptions of the past year in the previous edition, what's really missing is how the team's perceptions of the last 17 episodes have changed. I'm not saying that every single programme needs to referenced, but it's weak that not even one was held up as an example. (unless you count the line about Adam's reaction to Gwen on her first day) For example, how does Tosh, who now believes that she's been in a strong relationship with Adam for the past year, reconcile her memory of sleeping with Tommy two episodes ago in To The Last Man?

The most un-thought-through aspect of this tale though must be the ending, in which they all take retcon pills to banish Adam by forgetting him. Noone seems to have a problem with forgetting the last two days, least of all Rhys, who probably wants to, but doesn't apparently get to.

And finally – hang the flags out – Jack actually gets to remember a bit of his past in this one. He had a mum and a dad and a brother, who even more surprisingly turned out to be Gray, mentioned very briefly three weeks back in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. Could this actually be an unfolding storyline? In Torchwood?

Now that really would be rewriting history.

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