The Good Doctor
Why Freddie Highmore loves playing The Good Doctor’s autistic surgeon
DRAMA Sky Witness HD, 9pm
Freddie Highmore returns as Dr Shaun Murphy, and is under fire for his proposed treatment of a homeless person.
The Good Doctor
Tuesday, Sky witness HD, 9pm
WHEN DR SHAUN MURPHY (Freddie Highmore) joined the prestigious San Jose St Bonaventure Hospital at the start of the first season of
The Good Doctor, he had to prove that his autism wouldn’t stop him becoming a brilliant surgeon. His friend, mentor and president of the hospital Dr Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) was confident enough to stake his job on it.
But at the end of the series, Shaun looked set to lose everything dear to him. He felt duty bound to tell chief of surgery Dr Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) that he’d made a near-fatal mistake in surgery, while Glassman was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. As the second season begins on Sky Witness this week, Shaun is still working at the hospital, but has been sidelined to manning its mobile clinic.
While Shaun may not be making the most of his talents at the moment, former Bates Motel star Highmore certainly is. As well as playing Shaun, a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination, he also wrote the opening episode of the new series.
We met up with the 26-year-old Londoner to find out more…
WHERE DO WE FIND SHAUN AT THE START OF THIS SEASON? He’s grown. He’s learning. He’s a bit more confident.
You’ll see a role reversal of sorts in his relationship with Dr Glassman, who has always been there as his mentor. But now, with Glassman’s cancer diagnosis, Shaun is going to have to step up and be there for him in a way that he’s never been before.
SHAUN SUFFERED A SETBACK IN THE SEASON ONE FINALE. HOW WILL THAT AFFECT HIM? Shaun is not this superhero who’s going to fix everything, and in the last episode of season one he made a mistake that perhaps someone who didn’t
have autism might not have made. But the hospital is a better place for having Shaun there.
HOW DID YOU END UP WRITING THIS WEEK’S EPISODE?
I was lucky enough to write two episodes of
Bates Motel and the producers of The Good Doctor knew I was interested in doing it again. I spent about six weeks in the writers’ room and learned so much.
WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU LEARNED WHILE MAKING The Good Doctor?
Medically, I haven’t really learned anything – apart from how big internal organs are [laughs].
It’s amazing how all these things fit inside us. But playing Shaun has made me think more about myself. British people are somewhat cynical and Shaun is the opposite of that. He always sees the good in people so I think he makes me a little bit more like that too, which is a good thing.
YOU WERE NOMINATED FOR A GOLDEN GLOBE. DO YOU ENJOY THE RED CARPET EXPERIENCE?
I don’t over-think the red carpet. I just have my own suit and I put it on. It’s not like any famous designers are queuing up to dress me.
WHY HAVE YOU MOVED TO VANCOUVER?
It’s now my seventh year of filming something in Vancouver because Bates Motel was also filmed there so the place feels like home now, even though London is where I grew up.
WHAT DO YOU MISS ABOUT THE UK?
A cup of tea, the theatre and the football. We’ve got Arsenal season tickets as a family, but now I’m having to take up ice hockey in Vancouver. That’s my new sport.
‘Shaun always sees the good in people so I think he makes me more like that, which is good’
DR AARON GLASSMAN NEEDS SHAUN’S SUPPORT FREDDIE AS NORMAN IN Bates Motel