In a TV landscape full of medical dramas is The Good Doctor good enough to deliver?
The Good Doctor focuses on Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, Bates Motel) who is relocating from Wyoming to California to complete his medical training. The move alone is challenging enough, but Shaun is different- he has autism and savant syndrome.
On his way to his final interview for a job at St. Bonaventure Hospital, a medical emergency arises at the airport and Shaun steps in to help after an older doctor puts pressure on the wrong spot. While Shaun is saving the patient, St. Bonaventure’s chairman Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff, The West Wing) is justifying his decision to hire Shaun to the board, which includes Dr. Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) who is opposed to the idea of having Shaun at the hospital. The pilot juggles between those two stories which set up the series to develop moving forward.
There is also a range of flashbacks to Shaun’s childhood which, though often emotionally draining, provide the audience with an understanding of what it’s like to grow up with Shaun’s disability and serve the plot as the hour unfolds.
In regards to casting, Freddie Highmore delivers a captivating and flawless performance and is surely an Emmy contender next year, while Richard Schiff is also perfectly cast in the role. One of the show’s strong points is its approach to dealing with all the medical jargon, using diagrams to explain to us not only what is going on but giving us a front row seat to Shaun’s thought process.
David Shore (House) is on to another winner with a brave concept that ticks all the boxes, delivering a strong pilot to a must-see drama.
The Good Doctor premieres 8:45 pm Tuesday, October 31 before moving to 8:30 Thursdays from November 2 on Seven