John Watson
Played by Loren

BBC Sherlock

Canon Point

Beginning of The Great Game










With experience as both a doctor and a medical officer in the RAMC, John Watson has many skills that make him exceedingly useful in a crisis. As an army doctor it was John’s job to take care of his fellow soldiers when they were injured and that meant making split-second decisions under pressure about who to save and how. He’s exceptionally resourceful and able to think quickly in tough situations, as well as remain calm and keep his head clear. Protecting people is in John’s nature and he’s trained in multiple ways to do so - he’s a very competent doctor and can handle most medical emergencies thrown his way, as well as the usual bumps and bruises; he is trained to fight, although he’d rather only do it in self-defense or while defending someone in trouble (he has keen reflexes and can react quickly); he’s a crack shot. His time in the military gave him experience with guns and allowed him to hone his skills until he became quite the marksman.

In his capacity as an assistant (if you will) to Sherlock, John has several skills that make him invaluable, or at least helpful. Time in the Army made him able to follow orders without questioning (doesn't mean he likes it, or always understands), which means he doesn't waste time trying to figure out how something Sherlock demands he do is going to help the case, but rather does it (with minimal grumbling). He's also got a knack for helping Sherlock along in his deductions, even if it's sometimes by accidents. In Sherlock's words, he's unbeatable as a conductor for Sherlock's genius.


John Watson, first and foremost, is a soldier and a healer. For as long as he can remember, he’s had the urge to protect those around him - it’s what influenced him to enroll in med school, and then in the RAMC as an army doctor. The man has an incredibly large heart, he gives everything he has to those around him, whether they realize it or not. John believes in doing what’s right, and despite all that he’s seen, he still believes that there is some good in the world. He’s remarkably loyal to those who he is close to (the list has gotten quite a bit shorter since he’s returned from Afghanistan - there’s nothing like the bond between brothers in arms, and in a way that’s how he sees Sherlock, which explains the fact that he was willing to kill for him the night they met).

While he’s perfectly pleasant to those he meets - he knows how to talk to people, to make them feel at ease, it comes with the doctor’s territory, he doesn’t find it easy to trust others, it takes time and his trust has to be earned. John likes to keep to himself, he’s very private and unless you happen to be a genius consulting detective who can deduce his life from how he parts his hair and what he ate for breakfast that morning, there’s not much of a chance he’s going to share things about himself freely. Sometimes it feels like his main job is to smooth things over when Sherlock manages (without fail) to ruffle someone’s feathers - but he’s well suited to it, as he has always been adept at interacting with others and judging their emotions.

John has an open mind - he’s not quick to judge other people and doesn’t see the point in making snap judgments (if he’d done this in the lab, there was very little chance he’d ever have gone on to live at 221b). He’s perfectly fine to let others live their lives as they want (unless they’re related to him or sharing a flat with him [he has to draw some boundaries somewhere - toxic materials in the fridge definitely one of them]) and expects people to show him the same courtesy and not poke their noses into his business.

During his time in the military, John had to both give and receive orders - he likes to be in control when he can, but if there’s a purpose for something, he’s perfectly capable of taking direction (although not without complaint). The military played a large part in shaping the man who John Watson is today - he learned patience and discipline - he learned how to put his emotions into a box and deal with them later (there’s no way he could ever have saved as many of his comrades as he did on the battlefield if he let his own worry and grief cloud his judgment). Of course, there were traits John possessed before the military that served him well there - he’s always been a very organized person (although the chaos of 221b would beg to differ), fastidious and detail-oriented. He’s also very responsible, he will always carry through on a promise if he gives you his word and does his best to make sure that he never flakes on any commitment (if he happens to get caught up on a case with Sherlock, well, it can’t be helped, can it?).

John Watson is a good man at heart, there is no question, but there is a darker side to him. He came back from Afghanistan with PTSD and an adrenaline addiction (it’s debatable whether he possessed it before he enlisted, but Afghanistan certainly amped it up). He’s seen men die in front of him, good men, his friends, some of them while he was elbow deep in their blood and guts and because of this he’s not as sensitive to death as most. He has no trouble justifying killing another man so long as there is a good moral reason for it - won’t lose a lick of sleep over it (his nightmares accomplish that anyway). If he sees no other way, he will put himself in danger with no regard for his own self - some would call it brave although certain British governments would say that bravery is the kindest word for stupidity. Regardless of whether that is true or not, John is a brave man - he doesn’t flinch in the face of danger and won’t back down.

John doesn’t especially have a strong self-preservation instinct. He’ll make sure those around him are safe from harm, but throw himself headlong into danger without a second thought (“Sherlock, run!”). John Watson is not a man that is afraid of death - he’s faced it countless times on the battlefield, fought it back on the operating table and chased it down with Sherlock. In some ways, John is of the mind that if he were to die, it wouldn’t especially matter one way or the other. When he first came back from Afghanistan, there was nothing for him, just the blank endless days of staring at the council-appointed flat, with absolutely nothing happening to him. There’s a good chance, that if he hadn’t ran into Mike in the park and started the chain of events that unfolded, he’d have eventually ended it all.


John stands at an unassuming five feet seven inches, and for all intents and purposes, appears to be rather cuddly. He’s not. Cuddly that is. Appearances can be deceiving after all. Overall, John has something of a military bearing, despite having been invalided home. He holds himself straight, with correct posture and admirable focus. His skin is still tanned from his tour in Afghanistan, although only to the wrists, as he spent most of the time there wearing body armor. There’s an ugly, pink scar on his left shoulder where the bullet hit, he’s very self-conscious about it and tends not to display it if he can help it.

He has sandy blonde hair that lightens in the warmer months and occasionally an odd fleck of gray can be found here or there. Usually his hair is cut short, slightly longer than Army regulation and he rarely does anything more than comb it and put a bit of product in if it’s being especially tiresome that day.

His eyes are a murky blue color, appearing green in some lights and almost brown in others. They’re incredibly expressive - John isn’t a man who can easily hide his emotions, he displays them freely. His entire body seems to be designed to portray what he’s feeling. He’s got a small rounded nose and cheeks that almost beg to be pinched (I’d advise against that, of course).


Sherlock Holmes

Molly Hooper


John Hamish Watson was born in Chelmsford, England to Ann and Henry Watson. They already had a two year baby girl at home, Harriet, and John completed their little family. For the most part, John’s childhood was normal enough. He was a quiet, curious baby that was hardly any trouble at all (no, Harry took care of that). The two of them never quite got along as they grew up - Harry was always stealing his toys and bossing him about, and John, when he was old enough, gave back as good as he got. Despite this, the family was close enough - they went on picnics on the weekends, and John knew that if he ever needed anything, his parents were there for him.

In school, John was a model student. He did his work neatly and efficiently, was friendly to his peers (as long as they were nice to him) and he didn’t cause any trouble. After school, he’d go to the local park with his friends and play football or catch frogs - overall it was a typical childhood. He got interested in medicine after he watched a programme on the television with his father about doctors - he couldn’t tell you now what it was, but all he knew was that his eight year old self knew that’s what he wanted to do.

He studied hard in order to ensure that he would be able to get into medical school, and his teenage years were spent mostly with his nose in a book or hanging around with his friends. He was never into the dangerous recklessness that most of his peers were, no sneaking cigarettes behind the school or fighting in the parking lot of the local grocery mart. Around this time, his relationship with Harry really started to suffer - their low simmering sibling rivalry that had defined their interactions for the past fifteen years turned ugly as Harry started rebelling - and she always made John cover for her. So whenever Harry went out to a party and came home smashed at two in the morning, it’d be John who snuck downstairs and opened the door for her and told her to be quiet so she didn’t wake their parents - John who cleaned up the vomit if Harry didn’t quite make it to the bathroom.

Tensions between everyone in the family seemed to rise and it all came to a head when John’s mother died when he was sixteen. A car crash, she died instantly (John was supposed to go with her but begged off so he could go play football with his mates) and after that everyone drifted apart. Harry kept on going to parties, kept bringing home girls (John didn’t mind, he just wished they’d keep it down when he was trying to study) and his dad hit the bottle, hard. He’d never been particularly close with his father before, but it was still hard to watch him drown himself in alcohol. Sometimes his father would lose his temper - John clearly remembers a few occasions when he got the brunt of a bad day, had bruises to prove it, but even now he’d hesitate to call it abuse.

When he was old enough, he completed his A levels and did quite well, and enrolled in Kings College London, studying biomedical science. After three years he got his undergraduate and went on to get his medical degree at St. Barts. While he was doing his schooling, Harry had started drinking copiously - he was constantly at war with himself, between telling her to get the help she needed, and giving her her “space” as she wanted. It made for a tough time, and shortly after he got his medical degree, John enlisted in the RAMC as a medical officer in 2000Over the course of the war, he lost many friends and good men, although he did his best. He worked his way up to the rank of Captain and saw his fair share of war. In 2009, he was injured during a tour in Afghanistan, when he was shot through the shoulder. The wound was bad and he nearly didn’t make it - he was transferred to Camp Bastion and then when he was stable, flown home to England where he stayed at Selly Oaks until he was well enough to be released - his recovery was hindered by an MSRA infection, and he nearly lost his life again, but in the end they were able to clear it up and he was sent on his way.

He got a council appointed flat in London, although he was hardly able to afford it on his army pension. For a few months, he did nothing more than get up every morning, stare at the wall, go to his required therapy sessions (which were supremely unhelpful) and suffer through nightmares that woke him in a cold sweat every night. Then, one day when he was walking through the park, he ran into an old mate from school, Mike Stamford - who introduced him to Sherlock Holmes. He killed a cabbie for the man the very next day and hasn’t looked back since - the rest, as they say, is history.

Or well, would have been, until John came home one night to find Sherlock shooting holes in the wall of their flat and sulking in boredom. Rather than stick around and be subjected to the verbal abuse that usually accompanied Sherlock’s fits of boredom, John headed off to Sarah’s for the night. Only, he never made it there. One moment he was walking briskly down the street, the next he was being pulled down through the ground and ended up in Pandora.

Pandora HistoryEdit

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