Autism. A range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behavior, speech and nonverbal communication, as described by Autism Speaks (www.autismspeaks.org). It also is the mental condition of one Dr. Shaun Murphy, newest addition to San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital, and lead role of the new Fall ABC series, The Good Doctor. The series stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Brown, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neal Melendez, Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Irene Keng as Dr. Sarah Chen, Beau Garrett as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews and Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman. With a strong cast, as well as creator David Shore, who created House and NYPD Blue, the series has potential.
Based on the trailers I have seen, the storyline has quite a bit going on. There is Shaun, using a few everyday objects to perform what I assume is a cardiac catheterization to restart a person’s heart. Of course, there was maybe 3 to 5 seconds of the clip, so it is really hard to tell what Dr. Murphy exactly did, and why he had to perform such a drastic procedure in an unsterilized location. The preview also shows an echo-cardiogram, a recording of a person’s heart. In it, Shaun faces off with Dr. Neal Melendez, stating the recording is wrong. Open heart surgery reveals a small piece of glass, which implies as he watched or listened to the cardiogram, he noticed the glass causing a small skip in the valve, barely detectable, but if you have glass in the heart, it can shred the muscle and easily kill you.
The preview also covers Shaun’s personal life, with Dr. Aaron Glassman mentioning how he first met the young man at 14. In flashbacks, it reveals Shaun’s father seems to be verbally and physically abusive, and his brother often defends him. In another flashback clip, it shows Shaun being attacked by a group of boys, on a soccer field, before his brother runs up. I am a sucker for brother stories, so I really hope the brother is still alive, and pays an important part in the plot. Shaun carries a small plastic scalpel with him, as though it is sentimental or a coping device for his autism, it is hard to say as of yet.
With the main story coming from our friends overseas, I am excited to see the American take on a Korean drama, which is still going on. Hopefully it will draw a following like The Office did. Either way, I am quite intrigued and cannot wait to review this series for the Fall season. See you all next week after the Premiere airs. Stay shiny!