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Recap / Children Of Time S 1 E 9 Fractures

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The Doctor returns to the 2090s to pick up Beth, who is now seventeen. She asks that they go see a certain play in 1988: The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke. Holmes is less than impressed with the titular secret and his doppelganger. Torchwood kidnaps Jeremy, mistaking him for Holmes, and captures the TARDIS. The Doctor & Co make plans to rescue both, but nothing goes according to plan, and Watson realizes that his best friend is changing dramatically.


This Episode Provides Examples of:

  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Holmes gets himself and Jeremy drunk and tries to pick a fight with the older man until poor Jeremy has enough and stalks off. And directly into a kidnapping. Holmes does nothing directly stupid, but he does act like a drunken idiot.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: Up 'til now, the series, with the exception of the first episode, has been following DW's Season 3. This episode, however, is not tied with any episode from that season and, in fact, is loosely Inspired by... "Vincent and the Doctor".
  • Ascended Extra: Sally Sparrow and Beth Lestrade.
  • Benevolent Boss: Bernice Partington is really just doing her job. May overlap with Reasonable Authority Figure.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: All over the place, but nowhere more startling than when the ever-affectionate-towards-his-Companions Tenth Doctor angrily manhandles a drunken Holmes.
  • Continuity Nod: The episode is one big nod to canonical and internal continuity, with the events of "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday" playing a not-so-small role in the Doctor's interactions with Torchwood.
    • Also, there's quite a big throwback to one brief moment in "Rose," when Clive tells Rose that the Doctor kept a family from going aboard the Titanic.
  • Cool Big Sis: Sally's interactions with Beth.
  • Everyone Can See It: Played with, as Beth is very aware of her feelings for Holmes and quickly confides in Sally. Ironically, the Great Detective seems to be the only one who can't see that Beth is in love with him — indeed, is quite uncertain of his own feelings for her.
    • Even Jeremy implies that he gets it while Holmes doesn't.
  • First-Name Basis: Beth quickly gets into this with Holmes (despite having done it once already).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The play. Holmes and Watson have no idea just how real the "alternate interpretation" of their lives is about to get...
    • Beth deciding to commit a Heroic Suicide.
      • And then Holmes following up on that by threatening to kill himself.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Averted, even though Holmes fits the Green-Eyed Monster to a tee — Sally doesn't want to come between her boyfriend and his BFF.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Mm, these quotes (see In Vino Veritas below)...
    "Poor girl’s barely outta high school—you should be ashamed o’ y’self..."
    "Can’ think wha’ Beth sees in that guy, he’s insuff... suffer... he’s a jerk."
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  • Heroic Sacrifice: Beth attempts this by holding herself hostage for the sake of the Doctor's freedom (and sanity).
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Jeremy Brett, in a mild version of the trope.
  • In Vino Veritas: When Holmes gets himself drunk, the things he says about Beth to Jeremy and the Doctor are very telling...
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Holmes... we think. It's disturbingly hard to tell in this episode — he's certainly a far cry from the compassionate man he was a couple of episodes ago. He's not entirely a jerk in this story, but, dang, he does have some extremely cringe-worthy moments.
  • Jumped at the Call: Beth, pretty literally (you can hardly blame her — she's waited two years, after all).
  • Mistaken Identity: Poor Jeremy. A handful of Torchwood goons who can't tell the difference between him and Holmes kidnap him, thinking that he is Holmes. Fortunately for Jeremy, the Director instantly recognizes him and rectifies the situation.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: If Holmes hadn't gotten himself and Jeremy drunk, Jeremy might not have been kidnapped.
  • Oblivious to Love: Holmes, as explained above.
  • Official Couple: John and Sally Watson.
  • One Head Taller: Averted with both girls, who are each exactly three inches shorter than their men: Sally is 5'7" to Watson's 5'10", and Beth is 5'11" to Holmes's 6'2".
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: The closing scene — the Watsons are shown just getting started on their wedding night, with Sally assuring her chivalrous husband that, yes, she's very ready for this.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Holmes does notice.
    • She Cleans Up Nicely: With grown-up '80s hair and makeup, Beth definitely passes for early twenties, and it stuns Holmes speechless. (Of course, Beth misses the stare.)
  • Shipper on Deck: Torchwood, of all people, are entirely content to allow Sally to become the new Mrs. Watson.
  • Ship Tease/Will They or Won't They?: Are Holmes and Beth the incoming Alpha Couple or not...
  • They Do
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Holmes. Ouch.
  • Wedding Day
  • Younger Than They Look: Jeremy is surprised to find out that Beth is only seventeen. Likewise, the Doctor tells her that taking away her ponytail and putting on some makeup would definitely age her appearance.


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