When The Good Doctor premiered, no one really knew what to expect. This groundbreaking show about a young doctor with both autism and savant syndrome was going to explore something we had never seen on prime time television before.
In what came as a surprise to many, The Good Doctor started strong, and ended up getting some of the highest ratings for any prime time show. This was not only attributed to Freddie Highmore's brilliant portrayal of Dr. Shaun Murphy, but also to the entire ensemble who brought an undeniable chemistry week after week.
Highmore almost turned the role down, having just wrapped filming his show Bates Motel, but the way Shaun develops over the course of the show is what drew him in.
[Show creator David Shore and I] spoke mostly about Shaun and the development of his character over time. People who aren’t aware of autism in a personal way or haven’t watched the show sometimes say, “How will Shaun change? He’ll always have autism. What’s his arc going to be?” So one of the things we discussed early on is, “Yes, he’ll always have autism. But he’s going to change continuously as an individual as he adapts to this new world that he finds himself in.” That was exciting to me: This individual, regardless of whether or not he’s on the spectrum, is going on a journey as a character.
Fans who watched season one will already have noticed changes in Shaun's behavior, but season two is going to bring some even bigger changes to the show: the cast.
Chuku Modu, who played series regular Dr. Jared Kalu won't be returning to the show for the second season. We saw Dr. Kalu attack another doctor who had made inappropriate advances on Dr. Claire Browne, and then get offered a position in Colorado.
Modu just finished filming the newest Marvel movie Captain Marvel, in which he plays an as-of-yet unnamed character. He hasn't posted anything about his departure on social media, but on June 26 he shared a picture of The Good Doctor cast simply captioned "Friends."
To fill the void left behind by Dr. Kalu's departure, The Good Doctor has promoted four characters to series regulars.
Will Yun Lee, who played surgical resident Alex Park has been promoted.
Fiona Gubelmann, who played surgical resident Morgan Reznick, has also been added as a series regular.
Christina Chang who played Dr. Audrey Lim, has been bumped up to the regular cast as well.
Fans might also be pleased to know that Paige Spara, who played Shaun's neighbor and love interest Lea, has been bumped up to a series regular as well. This could mean more exploration into Shaun and Lea's romantic life.
The show may only have been on for one season, but I know that personally I can't wait to watch this for years to come!