Freddie Highmore is an excellent actor. This is evident in every one of his scenes on The Good Doctor, a hit drama on ABC currently in its third season. It is one of many reasons I enjoy watching, each week.
Freddie Highmore plays Shaun Murphy, the leading character of The Good Doctor. Murphy is a resident surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. His challenges with interacting with patients, coworkers, and friends plays a strong contrast to his exceptional talents as a surgeon and diagnostician.
The cast is packed with talent. From Nicholas Gonzalez’s role as the justifiably cocky star surgeon Dr. Neil Malendez to fellow residents Dr. Morgan Reznick and Dr. Claire Browne played by Fiona Gubelmann and Antonia Thomas, there is no denying the chemistry this cast has together.
Changed Hearts and Minds
When Dr. Shaun Murphy first arrives at the hospital surgical unit, the initial impressions from his superiors (with exception of his lifelong family friend Dr. Aaron Glassman) is that his disabilities will cause him to fail as a surgeon.
He was counted out early by lead surgeon Dr. Marcus Andrews, only to win him over through sheer talent and knowledge powered by his photographic memory.
Watching the characters evolve as they continue to interact with Murphy is a treat as a viewer. Each character has their own unique way of approaching either teaching or working aside him. Over time, their approaches change as they become aware of certain quirks about Muphy’s personality.
Because of this, Shaun’s presence serves as a catalyst for growth among every character that interacts with him.
One of the coolest aspects of the show is how it shatters the common misconceptions people have about autism and savant syndrome. While not absolutely true to reality, the show reveals sides of the syndrome that are often ignored by society at large.
Behind what may appear as the crazed response of someone with no understanding of the world may lie a brilliant genius that has a far more keen sense of the world’s workings than anyone.
More than anything, it reinforces the truth that a little patience and understanding for how we are different from one-another can create mutually beneficial outcomes for everyone.
For Shaun Murphy, his coworkers, mentors, and friends, it’s a story of personal growth and human understanding that transcends the normal, often played out, stereotypes.