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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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Hmm.
 

Quote

Let’s talk about John.

John has a depression linked eating disorder. In the opening of ASIP, after John wakes up, his breakfast consists of an apple that he doesn’t eat. This is very common in PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), especially those who have suicidal thoughts and tendencies, which we know John does. It’s not that they are actively starving themselves, it’s that they just don’t see the point of eating, as an effort to stay alive.

When he meets Sherlock, John eats dinner as if he is starving. He digs into his food, talks with his mouth full as if it is the first full meal he has had in months. Which is entirely likely, since John has been home for several months at that point. Again, this is a common symptom of people who have been suffering this type of eating disorder, and find that they are no longer as painfully depressed.

Sherlock even goes so far as to point out that after moving in together, John puts on an average of a pound a week in weight. John brushes it off as being normal. He doesn’t deny it, he just points out that he is eating more than one meal a day. This implies that wasn’t eating this often before he limped Sherlock’s life. This makes Sherlock’s insistence that John eat even more powerful.

He goes so far as to halt an investigation on more than one occasion, to make sure John gets a meal into him. "A well-fed John is a happy John", not because he is full, but because it proves that he is happy enough to actually eat.

So, this means that Sherlock cares.
 

[Link]
 

(I saw this and it reminded me of the conversation in the other thread about not eating.)

 

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Hmm, interesting, but it seems to me that the writer is overlooking some at-least-as-plausible explanations for John's behavior:

"His breakfast consists of an apple that he doesn't eat."  Neither of those assertions is really supported by what we see.  We don't *see* John eat the apple, but the scene ends very shortly after he carries it to his desk, so we have no way of knowing.  Also we don't know whether that's his entire breakfast, or just for starters.  Maybe he's planning to get a full English in a restaurant after a bit.  Or (which seems most likely to me) that's all the breakfast he can afford.

"When he meets Sherlock, John eats dinner as if he is starving."  The meal at Angelo's?  It was on the house.  So John didn't need to pay for it.

"... after moving in together, John puts on an average of a pound a week in weight. John brushes it off as being normal. He doesn’t deny it, he just points out that he is eating more than one meal a day."  Sherlock is paying for the groceries?  Or at least he's paying half the rent.  In either case, that could explain why John can now *afford* to eat three squares.  So yeah, it's perfectly normal that he'd put on weight.

Of course it *could* be PTSD, but it could also have been a simple matter of economics.

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56 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Hmm, interesting, but it seems to me that the writer is overlooking some at-least-as-plausible explanations for John's behavior:

"His breakfast consists of an apple that he doesn't eat."  Neither of those assertions is really supported by what we see.  We don't *see* John eat the apple, but the scene ends very shortly after he carries it to his desk, so we have no way of knowing.  Also we don't know whether that's his entire breakfast, or just for starters.  Maybe he's planning to get a full English in a restaurant after a bit.  Or (which seems most likely to me) that's all the breakfast he can afford.

"When he meets Sherlock, John eats dinner as if he is starving."  The meal at Angelo's?  It was on the house.  So John didn't need to pay for it.

"... after moving in together, John puts on an average of a pound a week in weight. John brushes it off as being normal. He doesn’t deny it, he just points out that he is eating more than one meal a day."  Sherlock is paying for the groceries?  Or at least he's paying half the rent.  In either case, that could explain why John can now *afford* to eat three squares.  So yeah, it's perfectly normal that he'd put on weight.

Of course it *could* be PTSD, but it could also have been a simple matter of economics.

I agree.  When we first meet Watson, he's living in some temporary accommodation.  It's either a really low-rent hotel, or some kind of hostel for service personnel.  His ascetic 'breakfast' of an apple isn't all that appealing.  He's trying to conserve money, and could just not be feeling very hungry.  He's in pain, probably on some pain meds and feeling less than enthused about his current circumstances, but I don't think a temporary loss of appetite points to an unconscious desire to just fade away through not eating.  He's blue . . not that blue.  He might be like me and not up for anything in his stomach but coffee until closer to lunchtime.

A hearty appetite is a Watsonian characteristic, as any cursory reading of the stories shows.  Dr. Watson spends a lot of page time in nearly every story devoted to loving descriptions of Mrs. Hudson's provided victuals.  Breakfasts figure large, since they are always at home for those.  Later meals are often taken out or else skipped altogether (Watson not happy about this) if Sherlock Holmes is on a case.  A very selective or entirely absent appetite is equally a Sherlock characteristic, which Mofftiss carries through.  Whenever there's an eating opportunity, Watson's tucking in, while Sherlock sits with steepled fingers at an empty place setting.  It's how they both roll.  :)

Some people are stress eaters; I'm a stress non-eater.  At times of increased stress, I lose my appetite pretty much.  Watson is under some stress when we meet him about his living arrangements, his dwindling funds and what he is going to do with his life now.  There may be some PTSD in there too, but he gets over it pretty quickly . . .as soon as he meets Sherlock Holmes, viola!  His appetite comes back!

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On 11/20/2018 at 4:52 PM, Hikari said:

There may be some PTSD in there too, but he gets over it pretty quickly . . .as soon as he meets Sherlock Holmes, viola!  His appetite comes back!

This fits right in with my theory that when we first see him, John is mostly feeling unwanted and useless.  He had been a doctor and a soldier, both very responsible positions, and suddenly he has neither job.  He's bored, at best.  So when Sherlock offers him something useful and interesting to do, it perks him right up.

I was reading an old PM thread and came across this quote (from myself):

It just occurred to me that perhaps Sherlock sees John as an adrenaline junkie simply to excuse himself for being the actual cause of John's forays into danger. Hmm. Gotta think about that.

Comments?
 

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On 7/4/2019 at 12:49 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

It just occurred to me that perhaps Sherlock sees John as an adrenaline junkie simply to excuse himself for being the actual cause of John's forays into danger. Hmm. Gotta think about that. Comments?

I don't see that Sherlock sees John that way actually. Yes, it was mentioned a couple of times, especially regarding Mary, but always thought that it's excuse that I don't buy and just a forced justification.

At least in the beginning I thought Sherlock sees John as more of moral, outsourced conscience. That John sees the unfortunate part of murders, symphatize with the victims (Jennifer Wilson, blind old lady) while Sherlock sees them as puzzle pieces because he needs to. So I thought Sherlock thinks that John is attracted to case because of purpose, to help make right, therefore John wants Sherlock to be the hero because he can. He does enjoy running around jumping from rooftop to rooftop, but not just because John likes the thrill of jumping, but the purpose of jumping. If John were interested that much in danger, he would put himself in many situations more carelessly more often. Other than raiding the drug house, I don't remember any other scenarios where he purposely seek dangerous situation when he doesn't have to. 

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1 hour ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

So I thought Sherlock thinks that John is attracted to case because of purpose, to help make right [....]  Other than raiding the drug house, I don't remember any other scenarios where he purposely seek dangerous situation when he doesn't have to.

He didn't even do that one just for the kicks -- the boy's mother was frantic with worry, she could hardly go to the cops (because they'd likely throw her son in jail), and John has all the necessary skills for dealing with the situation (he even knows how to sprain people).  So once more, he was making things right.  (That's what doctors do -- and soldiers.)

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I agree … I don't see anything about John that makes me think "adrenaline junkie." At the same time, I think Moftiss genuinely wanted the audience to buy that line. But maybe we can have it both ways … maybe helping people and being useful are the things that causes John's adrenaline to rush? So he's thinks he's being responsible, but he's actually just addicted? :smile: 

Then again, they did go out of their way to show that John was bored stiff just being a doctor.

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

... they did go out of their way to show that John was bored stiff just being a doctor.

True, but it seemed that his patients all had fairly boring problems, whereas John was presumably accustomed (in Afghanistan) to saving lives on a daily basis.  (According to wellingtongoose's blog, the caseload  of an actual British army GP in Afghanistan at that time would likely have been just as mundane, but Moftiss seem to have borrowed a good bit from ACD's Watson's experience a field surgeon.)

It's no wonder that John's CV (as glimpsed in Blind Banker) mentions his interest in learning some specialties.

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On 7/5/2019 at 1:46 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

He didn't even do that one just for the kicks -- the boy's mother was frantic with worry, she could hardly go to the cops (because they'd likely throw her son in jail), and John has all the necessary skills for dealing with the situation (he even knows how to sprain people).  So once more, he was making things right.  (That's what doctors do -- and soldiers.)

I used to and still think that she is neighbor from hell. I mean.. who does that? What do you expect? Neighbor knocking on door is no no. Neighbor knocking on sleeping hour is NO! Neighbor expecting you to rescue a drug addict son who has nobody to blame but themselves, poor mother, but HELL NO!

But then, I have new theory for me (I suppose nothing is new here, someone must have mentioned it before) that John is actually also famous. Eventhough he is a 'sidekick', people would see him in the news or paper beside Sherlock. Therefore that neighbor knows full well what John is capable of and is a much better option than the authority. Best if he could also drag his detective friend. So yah, I forgive the neighbor a bit.

On 7/6/2019 at 12:06 AM, J.P. said:

"outsourced conscience"

I love this! :D

I think I read it in the casebook. That is Mycroft's word and accusation actually. :P

On 7/6/2019 at 9:17 AM, Arcadia said:

Then again, they did go out of their way to show that John was bored stiff just being a doctor.

You mean monkey gland is not interesting???

 

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15 minutes ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

John is actually also famous. Eventhough he is a 'sidekick', people would see him in the news or paper beside Sherlock. Therefore that neighbor knows full well what John is capable of and is a much better option than the authority. Best if he could also drag his detective friend. So yah, I forgive the neighbor a bit.

Right.  Plus she's not just a neighbor, apparently she's also a friend of Mary's (so was she at the wedding? don't recall).  At least in the original ACD story, she's a friend of Mary's, so she knows that Mary's husband is, as you say, a famous sidekick.  Hey, if I were her, I'd have done the same thing.  Maybe not a six in the morning, though.

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Eh, I think most people will do anything if they think their kid is in deep trouble.

Kate said she didn't know who Sherlock was, so could she have known John was a famous sidekick? At any rate, it was always my impression that she was going to Mary for comfort and maybe advice, and not really "expecting" that she or John would offer anything except a shoulder to cry on. I know the feeling, actually.

I have always wondered why John seemed less than sympathetic towards her, however. That always seemed a bit un-John-like, to me.

 

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Kate said she didn't know who Sherlock was, so could she have known John was a famous sidekick? At any rate, it was always my impression that she was going to Mary for comfort and maybe advice....

Oh, you're right.  So the rescue was Mary snd/or John's idea.

2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I have always wondered why John seemed less than sympathetic towards her, however. That always seemed a bit un-John-like, to me.

Awakened at that hour, he presumably *felt* a bit un-John-like!

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4 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Kate said she didn't know who Sherlock was, so could she have known John was a famous sidekick? At any rate, it was always my impression that she was going to Mary for comfort and maybe advice, and not really "expecting" that she or John would offer anything except a shoulder to cry on. I know the feeling, actually.

Ohya! Now I remember why I'm pissed with Kate.

And your further justification on her actually strengthen it even more. XD But I remember I had ranted about this long time ago. So yah, geez, Kate!

Now I'm off to ponder whether I actually need to know how to sprain people without it being squishy.

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