The Good Doctor
Logline: A young surgeon with Savant syndrome is recruited into the pediatric surgical unit of a prestigious hospital. The question will arise: Can a person who doesn’t have the ability to relate to people actually save their lives?
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu, Richard Schiff, Beau Garrett
Creators: David Shore (W / EP), Daniel Dae Kim (EP), Sebastian Lee (EP), David Kim (EP), Erin Gunn (CoEP), Lindsay Goffman (CoEP), Seth Gordon (D)
Studios: Sony Pictures TV
David Shore hasn’t really been able to replicate the success of House, but The Good Doctor shows he’s far from leaving those aspirations behind.
The pilot follows autistic doctor Shaun Murphy MacGyvering his way through an impromptu surgery at an airport. Meanwhile, the board of the hospital he’s about to join debates the merits of taking on someone as simultaneously skilled and unfit to be a doctor as he is.
As is to be expected, The Good Doctor efficiently gives us an ensemble of very competent doctors attending to very urgent surgeries. Romantic relationships and conflicts are set up appropriately, as are some fairly soapy political machinations. That said, the pilot can at the most be described as competent, never really tipping into something great.
Skilled and sensitive, Shaun is a sympathetic and intriguing protagonist. However, the rest of the ensemble consists of stock medical procedural characters like cocky doctors, ambitious doctors, under-appreciated doctors, and so on. There was also something incredibly old-fashioned about the pilot’s pacing, and the way characters interact with each other. This could be a strength or a weakness, depending on how the writers bring these elements into play in subsequent episodes.
As as aside, occasional pop-ups from medical textbooks are not, in my opinion, the wisest use of visual real estate. My eyes glazed over each time these were used to clarify Shaun’s deductive process, and I doubt that audiences would be riveted by unnecessary details about ‘tension pneumothorax.’
I’d label this as being execution-dependent. The Good Doctor’s got one of the best casts this season, and unlike Augustus Prew in Pure Genius, I do think Freddie Highmore is perfect for Shaun.
I think the “Ten Days in the Valley” page is mixing up two pilots: the logline and Paula Patton are from “Somewhere Between,” a different series. Ten Days in the Valley is about an overworked TV producer and is led by Kyra Sedgwick.