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John Watson

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Not that I know of. It could have been six months, for all we know. Or 10 years.

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I'm assuming he went straight out of uni, so could have been as early as when he was 23, but if he trained as a surgeon it would be later. 

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Could be. But I don't think we have any indication one way or the other.

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Has anyone ever worked out how long John was in the Army? I suppose it partly depends on whether we assume he's a trauma surgeon in this version or not. 

 

In Canon, Three Continents is 28 when he is invalided home to London.  (SH is 18 months younger, still shy of his 27th birthday, by 5 days when our duo meets).  JW tells us that he'd done additional training for Army surgeons after graduating from medical school, and he would have had to also do the standard basic training for all recruits.  The Victorian training programme for medicine was not as rigorous as ours today, but he still would have had to do an undergraduate degree of at least 3 years first.  So I put him at 24 coming out of med school in 1878 which is the year given in ASiS.  Another year of Army training.  Another six months at least of travelling to the field of engagement in the East.  The battle of Maiwand happened in late July 1880, and sadly for the Doc, it was his first and last battle.  Seven months later he was back in London with his health irretrievably ruined.  That makes his active military service less than a year, though he was a natural-born soldier and certainly milks his military background for all it's worth.  If he managed to finish all his training, both medical and military a year earlier, than his length of service is 2 years at the absolute outside.  Not long.

 

Our modern Doctor is considerably older than 28 when we meet him . . Martin was 39 years old at the start of the show, so he will have been a career Army officer of 10 years perhaps.  He would have been near or over 30 by the time he finished a surgical residency.

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I'm with Hikari.  Also, having had a military career, not just a quick stint, would fit better with the idea that he was sort of searching for a new identity in SiP, feeling cast adrift because of his wound.

 

I know people have the screen caps of his CV from TBB.  Does it say anything about what years he served?

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But I don't think John is supposed to have been 39, from what I remember, going by Sherlock's age, John is supposed to be around 37. Regardless, yes he would have been a solider for an extended period, which makes more sense. 

 

This is quite interesting, an account of a surgeon joining the army and going through the training to deployment. 

 

https://publishing.rcseng.ac.uk/doi/pdf/10.1308/147363513X13500508917215

 

They can also go into it this way, where they sign up as medical students and so are technically in the army for longer - doing part of their training in military hospitals, and their surgical training whilst in the army. 

 

http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/Military_doctors%3A__junior_doctors%E2%80%99_experiences_in_the_British_army___

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I'm with Hikari.  Also, having had a military career, not just a quick stint, would fit better with the idea that he was sort of searching for a new identity in SiP, feeling cast adrift because of his wound.

 

I know people have the screen caps of his CV from TBB.  Does it say anything about what years he served?

 

I hope someone winkles that out.  The camera pans over Watson's CV so quickly, it's hard to see.  We do get a glimpse of his impressive accomplishments as a doctor, though.  Cardio-thoracic surgery (Cristina Yang's specialty for all you GA fans) isn't for the faint-hearted (har) or the medical dilettante.  Watson would have had the most thorough training possible for a surgeon, then and now.  (Not that they were as advanced as cardiac surgery in the Victorian era, but what surgical techniques there were, Watson knew them.   He could have become a hospital surgeon upon his return instead of drifting around in not terribly involving private practice that required the funds to set up a home and office (both on the same premises.  A hospital physician would have not had that overhead and probably much more involving days.  But then JW would not have been available to be Sherlock Holmes's Boswell and frère du guerre.  Medicine's loss was literature's gain!)

 

If we use Mr. Baring-Gould's birth date of 1852 for Watson, then it transpires that he was actually 26 in 1878, but if he was able to do all his training and ship out in the same year, the timeline still works.  This is only 2 years prior to the fateful battle, at most.  With a war on, the training regimes would have been accelerated, so perhaps all the further training he got was just a few months at the most.  Another 6 months to travel and make his way to the battlefield, allowing for a layover of some months' duration in India (ie., the second or third Continent containing his experience of women.  With Europe (England inclusive as the First, the elusive Other Continent was . . ?  This provocative mention of a third continent has lead a number of Watsonian scholars to theorize that Watson journeyed to the New World (San Francisco) at some juncture very early on and there obtained a First Mrs. Watson for a very brief marriage of less than a year.  This was, they say, at some point after the Jefferson Hope affair of ASiS, but well before the appearance of Miss Mary Morstan in TSo4.  Watson's complete failure to mention an absence of some 12 -18 months duration from Baker Street or, indeed, a whole wife, we must chalk up to that Victorian gentleman's reticence at which he excels.)

 

As far as our BBC Watson goes, this changes nothing . . .I still peg him for a 10-year man.

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Okay, at least one intrepid soul has had a go at deciphering what she could see of John's CV: http://archiveofourown.org/works/503732

 

The only employment dates I see are 2004-2006. Which I assume is a residency, since that's the same dates for attending medical school.

 

Which doesn't give him long to be in the Army....

 

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A rare fan vid ... about John, instead of Sherlock. Interesting take on the character, and how we've been left with such conflicted feelings about him after S4.

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A rare fan vid ... about John, instead of Sherlock. Interesting take on the character, and how we've been left with such conflicted feelings about him after S4.

 

I must have missed something (being distracted by the music and by John's ever-fluctuating hair) -- it struck me as basically the usual John-is-an-adrenaline-junkie theme.  Please elucidate.

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Well, I confess I didn't listen to the lyrics, so maybe they say something that contradicts what I thought I saw? But it seems to me, the few videos I've seen that focus on John's perspective, they always choose scenes that show him as a pal, a helpmate, the stable one, the cuddly one, etc. But here, you get a darker look at what he feels, and how he's affected by the things Sherlock has put him through. He's not so cuddly any more, and I thought it was interesting that the video maker chose to focus on that, instead of how adorable he is. And also the emphasis on John saying he's not the wonderful being everyone seemed to think he was ... but he WANTS to be that guy. Which makes him pretty wonderful to me, honestly. Not enough of that attitude these days, if you ask me.

 

I guess it shows him as "action man," but just like S4 itself, it's showing us the dark side of that instead of the fun side. 

 

That help?

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