Series Title: “Through A Glass Darkly” Series
Story Titles: Series contains sveral short stories plus two novel length fics: “Through A Glass Darkly” and “Then Shall I Know”
Author Name: wendymr (aka wmr)
Series url: Series Link 1
Alternate Series url: Series Link 2
Content Rating: The two novel-length fics are rated PG-13 and R respectively
Length: 29,200 and 32,554 words respectively
Series Summary: What could a Doctor and Jack in Pete’s World be like if their pasts were different? And what about when Rose finds them?
Through A Glass Darkly: It’s only when she’s finally given up looking for a way back that she finds him. Ninth Doctor (alternate), Jack Harkness (alternate), Rose Tyler, Jackie Tyler; multi-chapter, rated PG13
Then Shall I Know: Jack can’t avoid fifty-first century Earth for ever. He has to go back, and soon. Ninth Doctor (Pete’s World), Jack Harkness (Pete’s World), Rose Tyler. Multi-chapter, rated R. Chronologically, takes place around six months after Through A Glass Darkly and requires familiarity with the TAGD-verse.
As I’ve mentioned just about every time I write a recommendation for one of Wendy’s stories, I’ll rec anything by her. This series puts that claim to the test because – gasp! – it contains angst…and yet I still love it despite my angst phobia! 😉 Yes, it’s that good! In fact, I’ll even go one better. As may be obvious by my rec tags, slash fics aren’t generally my cup of tea. This story features a slash relationship which exists prior to Rose’s meeting with the alt!Doctor and alt!Jack, and which exists separate from her involvement with them. But again, Wendy writes stories which are so captivating, that even with elements in which I’m normally disinterested, I still feel eagerly compelled to pimp this series as one of the best that the Doctor Who fandom has to offer.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous rec for Wendy’s Mirror series, she’s known for writing a stellar relationship between Rose, Jack and the Doctor, and she also obviously writes a fantastic Alt!Nine in Pete’s World. This story is very distinct from her previous Alt!Doctor/Alt!Jack/Rose series, though, and it would be impossible to confuse the two. Jack is initially an emotional wreck – cold, harsh and even hateful toward Rose – while Alt!Nine is compassionate, sensitive and concerned. How’s that for the flip side of the universe?
The entire series is quite interesting in that it puts Rose in the place Jack had in her previous universe, as the third-wheel in an established pair (romantically involved or not); she’s now the one who has to make a place for herself and who often feels uncertain of her welcome. She handles the situation well, though, with the benefit of several extra years of maturity, thanks to the length of time she’s been on Earth since “Doomsday.” But it’s still an occasionally painful situation for Rose and for those reading about her journey, as she joins the TARDIS crew knowing that the Doctor loves someone else more than her. Those painful moments are substantially lessened, however by this Doctor’s more compassionate and caring mannerisms, as he always makes an effort to make Rose feel wanted.
What I’d really like to draw special attention to, though, is the second novel-length fic in this series: “Then Shall I Know.” This story had me bawling in several places. It’s got a spectacular, brilliant, fantastic plot, utilizing story ideas which I’ve never seen elsewhere. Jack must confront certain demons in his past which Rose’s original Jack never seemed to have faced, thanks to the differences in the universes. Thus we are provided with an adventure which feels totally in keeping with the Doctor Who universe, but which is utterly unique. There’s not much I can say about the nature of the adventurous, dramatic scenes in “Then Shall I Know” without spoiling “Through A Glass Darkly” for you. But the political, media-circus of a crisis which Jack must face puts this story in a class by itself.
There is a killer ending to that story, one which I must again be careful in not spoiling for you. It is the source of most of my tears of agony and joy each time I read this story. It’s beautifully written and both completely tragic, in its unanswerable dilemma, as well as absolutely perfect, in providing the best possible Happily Ever After.
Please Note: As mentioned above, this series does contain some non-graphic scenes depicting a slash relationship.