The Good Doctor stars Freddie Highmore as Dr Shaun Murphy.
The Good Doctor stars Freddie Highmore as Dr Shaun Murphy.

The Good Doctor: What you never knew about hit show

THE Good Doctor is currently one of the most popular shows on TV.

Airing on Channel Seven in Australia, the program regularly pulls in more than 1 million viewers [5 city metro] which is a huge achievement.

If you haven't seen it before, the medical drama is about Shaun Murphy, a young savant autistic surgical resident who works at a hospital in California.

If you love the show or even just want to learn more about it before catching up on the 15 episodes that have aired so far, here are some little-known facts about The Good Doctor.


Remember Daniel Dae Kim from Lost and Hawaii Five-O? He stumbled across a South Korean TV series called Good Doctor in 2013 and immediately bought the rights to make the show in the US.

Kim, who was appearing on Hawaii Five-O on CBS at the time, tried to get that network to make The Good Doctor but they decided to pass.

"That was really unfortunate to me, because they were my home studio. I really wanted to bring something home to them," Kim told The New York Times.

After Kim left Hawaii Five-O over a pay dispute, he teamed up with David Shore who created House and together they developed The Good Doctor which was picked up by ABC in the US.

Daniel Dae Kim is one of the executive producers of The Good Doctor.
Daniel Dae Kim is one of the executive producers of The Good Doctor. Supplied


The character of Dr Shaun Murphy is played by 26-year-old British actor Freddie Highmore.

He comes from a showbiz family - his dad's an actor and his mum is a talent agent who looks after Daniel Radcliffe.

Highmore started acting from a young age and his breakout role was alongside Johnny Depp in 2004's Finding Neverland for which he won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Performer.

He was just 12 years old at the time and made a memorable appearance on Ellen to promote the movie, during which he played two recorders using his nostrils.

Freddie performing for Ellen.
Freddie performing for Ellen.

Johnny Depp was so impressed by Highmore that he hand-picked the youngster to play Charlie Bucket in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory in 2005.

As he grew older, he continued to act in movies and TV shows and in 2013 landed the role of Norman Bates in Bates Motel.

While he was acting in Bates Motel, Highmore also went to Cambridge where he studied Arabic and Spanish. According to The Telegraph, a lot of Arabic graduates from Cambridge end up working for MI5, the UK's secret service.

"People think the Arabic's because I'm a spy but that isn't the case, I'm not a spy," he told show host Jimmy Kimmel last year.

Freddie Highmore with Nicholas Gonzalez in The Good Doctor.
Freddie Highmore with Nicholas Gonzalez in The Good Doctor.


Playing an autistic character poses a few challenges for Highmore.

Firstly, he wants it to be known that the character he plays isn't representative of all people with autism.

"As the phrase goes, when you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism," Highmore told Gold Derby.

"And I think that's important to remember with respect to Shaun.

"He can't represent, nor should we try and make him represent everyone on the spectrum in the same way a neurotypical lead character of a show couldn't possibly represent everyone who's neurotypical."

And secondly, playing an autistic character means that Highmore sometimes feels like he's letting down other actors in scenes.

"Shaun is very internal," Highmore told Gold Derby.

"A lot of what Shaun is thinking isn't necessarily obvious to those who he's interacting with ... I feel it's an adjustment for everyone when there's a scene which Shaun's a big part of, that other actors aren't necessarily getting what they may expect from another scene partner ... I hope that they feel like they're getting something from me, even if Shaun is very much in his head."

The Good Doctor continues next Tuesday, March 13 at 9pm on Seven

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