“House” was a long-running TV show that starred Hugh Laurie as a brilliant diagnostician who had a large number of issues, mainly regarding his ability to deal with other human beings. Now David Shore, the creator of “House” and Daniel Dae Kim who appears on the modern version of “Hawaii Five-O” is developing a new series said to be done in a South Korean format. The series, which has a pilot commitment from ABC, is called “The Good Doctor” which will star Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a brilliant surgeon who has #Savant Syndrome. Chuku Modu, who plays Aggo on “Game of Thrones” has been cast to play Dr. Jared Under, a resident at the hospital where Murphy practices.
A person with savant syndrome has a remarkable ability in one area, such as art, music, science or, in the case of Dr. Murphy, medicine with often extreme mental defects in other areas. Savants often are high on the autism spectrum, have brain damage, or in other ways have neurological defects. The only clue about what is troubling the Murphy character is that he finds it impossible to relate to other people.
The comparison of Murphy to House is an obvious one. House might be described, as the character Sherlock Holmes upon whom he was loosely based, as a high-functioning sociopath. He has difficulty showing empathy for other people, which meant that he had a terrible bedside manner, was abusive to his staff, and cruel and manipulative to his superior, Dr. Cuddy. However, House was brilliant in his ability to diagnose obscure ailments on patients who were under his care. He thought of these cases as interesting and challenging problems and not as human beings.
How Murphy can operate as a successful surgeon if he has no ability to relate to other people is uncertain outside the writing room of “The Good Doctor.” Surgeons, no matter how brilliant, operate as part of a team, comprising other doctors, nurses, and medical specialists. The ability to communicate instantly and clearly is often the difference between life and death of the patient. How Murphy will be able to function under those conditions will be fascinating to watch if “The Good Doctor” goes to series. #Freddie Highmore