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"The Good Doctor" is a U.S. medical drama based on a South Korean show of the same name with a similar plot. The Korean show was originally seen as a possible transfer to U.S. TV by the actor, Daniel Dae Kim who eventually found a home for the show with ABC and Sony Pictures under the leadership of showrunner David Shore.
Dr. Shaun Murphy is first seen standing in a bathroom combing his hair perfectly before he ruffles it on his head to get it exactly how he wants it. Shaun eventually makes his way to work at the San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital with the aid of a childhood friend, Dr. Marcus Andrews.
Arriving at San Jose airport from Casper, Wyoming, Shaun is on hand as a sign falls in the airport and glass shatters around a young boy. Shaun immediately recognizes the child is in danger and sets about helping him despite the arrival of another man claiming to be a doctor. As the other doctor tries to help the boy, Shaun explains the chances are he will be dead soon as the doctor is treating him as though he was an adult.
at the hospital, Marcus is explaining the symptoms and signs of autism to the board of trustees and explaining how their newest surgical intern is the perfect fit for the role of the general surgeon. Marcus explains Shaun has all the gifts needed to be a great surgeon and should be given the chance to do so despite his autism. The President of the hospital goes on to explain the hire is his idea alone and he will stand by his actions and leave if Shaun does not make the grade as a surgeon.
Back at the airport, Shaun is still trying to save the life of the young boy and notices a problem with his arm which the surgical intern believes will kill the child soon. The other doctor, once again, ignores the advice of Shaun and continues to work against the advice he is being given. Shaun eventually tells the other doctor to start CPR because the child will not survive more than a few minutes.
Using his abilities as a surgical genius, Shaun visualizes the problems affecting the child and identifies a course of action using the objects he believes he will be able to find around the airport. Shaun walks away from the young boy and asks a security guard for a knife he sees on the top of a pile of confiscated goods. The guard refuses Shaun's request and wrestles him to the ground when he takes the knife without permission. Eventually, the mother of the child explains what is happening and Shaun is allowed to use the knife to save the life of the child.
Shaun accompanies the child to San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital in an ambulance but is refused entry when the child is taken inside. Shaun tells surgical intern, Dr. Claire Browne of his belief the child needs an EKG to save his life. Claire passes on the information given to her by Shaun to the head of surgery, Neil Melendez who dismisses the EKG idea as the boy shows no signs of heart issues. After noticing the boy's stats are falling, Melendez tells Claire to bring Shaun into the operating room to help save the life of the boy.
As Claire tries to defend the advice of Shaun in his attempts to save the life of the young boy, the Board of Trustees of the hospital is voting on whether to allow a Dr. affected by autism to work in its surgical department.
Showrunner, David Shore began his career working as a corporate lawyer in Canada before moving to Hollywood to follow his dream of becoming a TV writer and director. The Canadian found early success writing for the series about a Canadian mounted police officer living and working in the U.S., "Due South." After writing for a number of TV shows, Shore would find his biggest success with the series, "House" which he created with a basis of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character, Sherlock Holmes.
Dr. Shaun Murphy is played by the former child star, Freddie Highmore who has been working steadily in film and TV since his early childhood. In 2004, Highmore made a critical mark on the global stage starring with Johnny Depp in "Finding Neverland." His major breakthrough came with "Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" before a switch to TV saw more success come his way as a young Norman Bates in "Bates Motel." Highmore was nominated for a Golden Globe for his acting in "The Good Doctor" and took up the roles of producer and writer for the show.
Antonia Thomas is an English actress who plays Dr. Claire Browne in "The Good Doctor" and has found success in various TV shows in the U.K. before her switch to the U.S. Browne attended the prestigious Bristol Old Vic to study acting and was cast in "Misfits" the day after graduating with an undergraduate degree from the theater group. Browne would later take a lead role in the Netflix series, "Scrotal Recall" before narrating the reboot of the children's TV show, "Teletubbies."
"Hawaii-Five-O" actor, Daniel Dae Kim purchased the rights to the South Korean version of "The Good Doctor" and tried to develop the show with NBC. After failing to find success, the actor purchased the rights back from NBC and negotiated a co-production partnership with Sony and the ABC network. The show is filmed in British Columbia, Canada with the third season of "The Good Doctor" already commissioned by ABC because of the success of the first two seasons. Freddie Highmore was the second lead actor cast after Antonia Thomas but has become an integral part of the production team. Highmore wrote the opening episode of season two and would direct episodes later in the season.
"The Good Doctor" has garnered favorable notices from most critics with the second season being praised more highly than the first. Metacritic gives the first season a rating of 60 percent and stated the show has a solid basis and impressive lead actor in the shape of Highmore. One of the complaints from many critics was with regard to the initial heavy-handed approach to the subject of autism but this was seen as less of a problem in later episodes. The ratings for "The Good Doctor" began with over 19 million viewers watching the show in the U.S. with an average of more than 15 million viewers watching each episode of season one.
The success of "The Good Doctor" has not been limited to the U.S. where the medical drama is available for streaming on the Hulu service. The show has been broadcast in the U.K. and Ireland by Sky Witness and in Australia on the Seven Network. Otgher nations where "The Good Doctor can be viewed include The Netherlands and Italy.
Freddie Highmore had to fight for the role of Dr. Shaun Murphy in "The Good Doctor when he first auditioned as producers thought he was too young. Highmore explains he was told Murphy had to be at least 25, the age of Highmore when he auditioned. The realistic portrayal of a surgeon by Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Melendez could be due to the fact his brother and father are both surgeons in his native Texas. Gonzalez was so concerned with getting the work of a surgeon filmed correctly for the screen he invited his brother on to the set of "The Good Doctor" to act as his personal consultant on all matters surgical.