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July 16, 2015 12:29 pm  #61


Re: John's Military standing

Liberty wrote:

But is he really dreaming about the "horror" of war?  Is that how he's experiencing it?  The footage is kind of ambiguous.  And if it's to show he has PTSD, then why is Sherlock shown as part of the same PTSD in HLV?  He's not haunted by the horrors of Sherlock: he misses him.  Yes, of course he misses him as a friend and not just for the thrill of the chase, but I think we are shown that Sherlock has replaced what he previously missed. 

(And I do think that even if he saw loads of Sherlock but wasn't involved in his work, he would eventually yearn to go on cases with him.   Just look at how Sherlock recruits him in HLV.  He knows what he likes ).

To be honest, I think a high-adrenaline hobby might help somebody like John, but it wouldn't fill that gap - it would miss the meaning of what he's doing (in my opinion).  In both cases (fighting wars or fighting crime) the purpose is supposedly for good, isn't it?  The goal is still, ultimately, protecting people and saving lives?   There's a point to it, beyond self-gratification.  (I honestly don't think John would have followed Sherlock down an evil route, however fascinating and exciting).

I think it would be really unfair to assume that everybody who is drawn to more dangerous or stimulating occupations is incapable of empathy or concern.  If John had enjoyed being on the crash team at the hospital, would he be criticised for that?  (Actually, I do think John is a little bit lacking in empathy as a GP, but that's another issue, and I think it's related to his dissatisfaction with that role). 

 
That's an excellent point Liberty.  The fact that for John it's not just the excitment but the fact that he is "doing good." 
John's depression in the begining of the series is not just because he misses his adrenaline high but because he feels useless.
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Last edited by tonnaree (July 16, 2015 12:31 pm)


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July 16, 2015 7:13 pm  #62


Re: John's Military standing

Liberty wrote:

I know, it is confusing, but Mycroft does say that the tremor is due to missing the war.

I would heavily deny that John is missing the war! And I can rememeber that I just wanted to contradict Mycroft immediately when claiming this!
What a poor charakter would anybody be missing death, bombed people and buildings, pain, blood and pure horror!!! I don't want to believe that any healthy mind could miss war and all its dity consequences!
I'm pretty sure that John shows these certain kinds of psychosoamtic symptoms because having left the war behind is still quite "fresh" and he hasn't adjust to normal daily life yet.
Meeting Sherlock and getting involved in his cases is a good way of distracting John from having been at war. 


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July 16, 2015 7:28 pm  #63


Re: John's Military standing

kornmuhme wrote:

I would heavily deny that John is missing the war! And I can rememeber that I just wanted to contradict Mycroft immediately when claiming this!
What a poor charakter would anybody be missing death, bombed people and buildings, pain, blood and pure horror!!! I don't want to believe that any healthy mind could miss war and all its dity consequences!
I'm pretty sure that John shows these certain kinds of psychosoamtic symptoms because having left the war behind is still quite "fresh" and he hasn't adjust to normal daily life yet.
Meeting Sherlock and getting involved in his cases is a good way of distracting John from having been at war. 

I kind of agree with you here. It never sat right with me, the thought that John would dream about the horrors of war and then wake up crying because he misses it.

I know that he is "addicted to danger", or however phrase one should use (I don't necessarily agree with that term either), but John is also a decent person. I am absolutely convinced he found war absolutely horrible. 

I am more inclined to believe what other people have mentioned - that he feels he doesn't have a purpose in life anymore. And with Sherlock he finds that purpose again.


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July 16, 2015 7:33 pm  #64


Re: John's Military standing

Vhanja wrote:

kornmuhme wrote:

I would heavily deny that John is missing the war! And I can rememeber that I just wanted to contradict Mycroft immediately when claiming this!
What a poor charakter would anybody be missing death, bombed people and buildings, pain, blood and pure horror!!! I don't want to believe that any healthy mind could miss war and all its dity consequences!
I'm pretty sure that John shows these certain kinds of psychosoamtic symptoms because having left the war behind is still quite "fresh" and he hasn't adjust to normal daily life yet.
Meeting Sherlock and getting involved in his cases is a good way of distracting John from having been at war. 

I kind of agree with you here. It never sat right with me, the thought that John would dream about the horrors of war and then wake up crying because he misses it.

I know that he is "addicted to danger", or however phrase one should use (I don't necessarily agree with that term either), but John is also a decent person. I am absolutely convinced he found war absolutely horrible. 

I am more inclined to believe what other people have mentioned - that he feels he doesn't have a purpose in life anymore. And with Sherlock he finds that purpose again.

Right, Vhanja! He is kind of an adrenaline junkie, but that is completely different from wishing he could be back at war!!! Being a doctor John will have seen a lot of pain, angst, sorrow and that's still in his mind. One can't escape from something so shocking and intense like war!


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July 16, 2015 8:04 pm  #65


Re: John's Military standing

But we've go to remember that this is in the context of him being somebody who gleefully rushes off with an enigmatic stranger who promises him violent deaths and trouble.  Or somebody who is relaxed and joking after killing a bad guy.  I think that in the show those things are perfectly compatible with him being a decent person too.   In both situations (Sherlock and war) he's protecting people.  It's not that he wants war (any more than he wants people to be murdered so that they can have a case, or any more than he might have wanted people's hearts to stop if he was on the crash team), but he misses his role.  His life is lacking in meaning and direction without it, and that's causing him stress.  (And just being a doctor isn't enough - he also seems to need high-stress situations where he'll perform at his best). 

Also Mycroft is supposed to be incredibly clever, more so than Sherlock.  He's done his research and could have just believed the obvious - that John has PTSD and haunted by the war.   But he deduces something unexpected - why would we think he is wrong about that?  (And what would even be the point, story-wise?).

 

July 16, 2015 8:27 pm  #66


Re: John's Military standing

I don't think Mycroft is necessarily wrong, I think it's more that his wording is a bit off. I believe it's written that way for effect and rhetorics. 

I agree with what you say - John misses his role. He misses the action, the danger, the thrill. But not just any kind of "adrenaline junkie". Not something that can be fixed by bungie jumping. 

Personally, I think he misses his role and purpose in the war. I don't think he misses the war itself. War is horrible. It's not about being the hero saving the good guys - it's about pointless death and suffering all around you. I can't understand that John, who feels sadness and empathy just by seeing a dead body, would miss something is a thousand times worse.


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July 17, 2015 5:53 am  #67


Re: John's Military standing

I think we're saying much the same thing but disagreeing over Mycroft - I think what he says is fine, and I don't think it reflects badly on John.   Yes, war is horrible, but so is murder.  So are deaths in hospital.  As an army doctor (I know the series is really vague about this, but I think we're supposed to picture him at the front line, dealing with awful things) he'd have been saving people.  And joining the army must have meant something to him - he was somebody who could have had a well-paid, successful career in civilian life, so he wasn't joining up just because it was any old job.  Something about it appealed strongly to him. 

It's not just Mycroft - Sherlock picks up on it too.   Sherlock is similar, in a way.  He's quite happily open about his need for cases, in a way that looks sinister (to Sally), but isn't.  Sherlock cares too.

 

October 16, 2015 3:20 am  #68


Re: John's Military standing

Swanpride wrote:

It is possible to have nightmares, depression and a psychological injury without having full blown PTSD.  PTSD means that someone might have overblown reactions to certain situations, that flashbacks can overwhelm them when they encounter some sort of trigger.  But John has neither.  He has bad memories, he has trouble adjusting and he feels useless in the first episode.  And he certainly needs psychological help.  But he doesn't have PTSD.

I agree that John does have all of those issues that you described.  Not to mention that he has nightmares about the war (and possibly flashbacks as well), a psychosomatic limp, and an intermittent tremor in his left hand.  He most likely has lost his sense of purpose, and that's what he misses the most.  I'm very sure that he does not miss the horror of war itself, but he does miss the sense of purpose that he had there, the sense that he was saving lives whether it was as a doctor or when he was, of necessity, taking one life to save another.
 

Last edited by kgreen20 (October 16, 2015 3:20 am)

 

October 16, 2015 11:52 am  #69


Re: John's Military standing

I would say that PTSD is similar to Autisim in that there are a multitude of symptoms that can compbine in many different ways and at many different levels of severity.  There is no one way to have PTSD but a wide spectrum of issues.


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May 21, 2016 10:32 pm  #70


Re: John's Military standing

Here's a way that John could have been an army doctor and been on the front lines!

http://wellingtongoose.tumblr.com/post/30923990756/semantics3

John could have started out training to be a general practitioner, and then, once he had become a licensed GP, had decided that he'd rather be a surgeon instead.  At that point, he could have joined the army's surgical training program.  John said, in that flashback sequence in "The Sign of Three", that he was in Afghanistan for three years.  That wouldn't have given him time to spend 7 years as an army GP and then to spend some more time as a regular soldier.  He could have spent that 3 years training to become a trauma surgeon, which would explain why he was still a captain when he was shot and invalided out: he was still in training when his army career ended.  It would also explain why John spent time on the front lines and had to become an excellent shot, since trainee surgeons, according to wellingtongoose, are far more apt to go to the front lines to engage in retrieval missions than consultant surgeons are.  Thy army cannot afford to lose its consultants; trainee surgeons are regarded as more expendable.  They have to be able to shoot, since they're in the firing line when they go to combat zones to retrieve wounded soldiers.
 

Last edited by kgreen20 (May 21, 2016 11:03 pm)

 

May 22, 2016 7:23 am  #71


Re: John's Military standing

Sorry, am I missing something?
As far as I was aware, there are always medics on the front lines.


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May 22, 2016 8:23 am  #72


Re: John's Military standing

Yes, bu John is both a doctor and a soldier. And as I understood it, if you're a doctor in the military, you work as a doctor to tend the wounds of those soldiers who are in the front line, you are not there yourself as a crack shot actling like a soldier. (I picture something like MASH).


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May 22, 2016 8:23 am  #73


Re: John's Military standing

Oh, I see.


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May 22, 2016 8:41 am  #74


Re: John's Military standing

So while his dual role is kind of fascinating and awesome (and says quite a bit about John as a person, I think), I am not sure it makes sense in the real world.


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May 22, 2016 8:55 am  #75


Re: John's Military standing

I've thought about this a lot (and have read the Wellington Goose article, which is good), but in the end I've come to the conclusion that Moftiss were just recreating ACD's Watson's background.   In those days, there wasn't separate GP training and qualifications, I believe.  So in the fictional Sherlock universe, John trained at a medical school that doesn't exist, served with a regiment that doesn't exist, was invalided out from the army and went into general practice without further training, because that's what Watson did.  http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 

May 22, 2016 5:44 pm  #76


Re: John's Military standing

LOL.  That's not what John's resume (CV) says.  It says that he attended medical school at King's College (which does exist), and it was there that he earned his MBSS.  While he did not attend medical school or serve as a junior house officer at Barts Hospital, it's not too difficult to guess that he probably did serve his year as senior house officer there, and it's entirely possible that he also took some classes there at one point, during his year as junior house officer.  And according to wellingtongoose, it was easier for a doctor to change specialties when John finished his 2 years as house officer and received his GP license than it would be now, so it would not have been that difficult for him to switch from being a general practitioner to being a surgeon; all he had to do was to apply for acceptance into the army surgical training program.  With all that said, I agree that the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers does not exist anymore; that was clearly a nod to canon.
 

Last edited by kgreen20 (May 22, 2016 5:48 pm)

 

May 22, 2016 5:48 pm  #77


Re: John's Military standing

My(military historian) husband informs me that fusiliers were originally elite regiments, usually royal and therefore had the privilege of wearing blue facing colours.

Last edited by besleybean (May 22, 2016 6:31 pm)


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May 22, 2016 6:30 pm  #78


Re: John's Military standing

Oh yes, it's possible to fit it in (as the post manages to do), and I did go along with the Wellingtongoose version as my personal headcanon for a while.  But I honestly think that the intention is more of a nod to canon, than creating a backstory for John.   It doesn't matter when, how or why John did his GP training - he was in general practice because Watson was. 

 

May 23, 2016 2:57 am  #79


Re: John's Military standing

Except for one small problem: modern-day army GPs are not sent to the front lines; therefore, there is no real opportunity for them to get shot.  Trainee army surgeons, however, are (they're sent on retrieval missions).  On the other hand, a doctor who has only trained as a surgeon cannot get locum work as a GP; therefore, John would have had to train in both specialties, and in my head canon, he has.  It's clear from John's nightmares that he has spent time on the front lines, which he could only have done if he had either quit being a doctor to become a regular soldier or had been a trauma surgeon in training.  Moffat and Gatiss aren't completely ignoring the modern-day realities of army life, even though they are having John having previously been a member of a regiment that no longer exists, as a nod to canon.
 

Last edited by kgreen20 (May 23, 2016 3:09 am)

 

May 23, 2016 5:38 am  #80


Re: John's Military standing

And just as well it's only a TV show, hey!


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