“The Good Doctor,” the latest medical drama created by David Show, had its premiere Monday night. The series features Dr. Shaun Murphy, a newly minted surgeon who happens to have autism and savant syndrome. The combination of conditions means that while he is one of the most brilliant doctors who ever lived, he has extreme difficulty relating to people and the world around him.

David Shore’s latest odd doctor

David Shore is best known for being the creator of “House,” a long-running series that centered on a brilliant diagnostician and almost unbearable misanthrope, Dr. Gregory House. House was based somewhat loosely on Sherlock Holmes, the acerbic Victorian detective.

Instead of solving crimes, House solved medical mysteries, diagnosing patients whose diseases other doctors were unable to ascertain. His ability is balanced by his tendency to express icy contempt for everyone around him. “Because you’re an idiot” was his favorite catchphrase.

Dr. Murphy is operating under a different set of conditions. He has no social skills whatsoever, so therefore he tends to be brutally honest with people even when the situation calls for him not to be. He has difficulty understanding the feelings of others, such as why an airport TSA security officer would be alarmed when he snatches a confiscated knife in order to deal with a medical emergency. His one expression of human emotion comes at the end of the episode when he explains why he wants to be a doctor, to save lives of people, like his beloved brother and guardian, who otherwise might have died.

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He demonstrated depths of compassion and empathy that Gregory House was incapable of.

How was the show?

The premiere episode spent a lot of time setting up Murphy’s backstory, which consisted of a very troubled childhood. He also faces bias on the part of the hospital board where he is due to work because of his condition. Only his brilliance in saving the life of a young boy by observing things the other doctors miss gets him approval to start work. Nevertheless, he is going to have to deal with the doubts of some of his fellow physicians, mixed in with more than a measure of professional jealousy.

The premise of the show is interesting enough that it is worth a look, even though the character of Murphy may not be as relatable as House was. We can understand a SOB. A lot of people are frightened by individuals with autism. No doubt the character will have as much trouble gaining the acceptance of the audience as he will the medical staff at the hospital. However, it is well worth it to give Dr. Murphy a chance to see him work his magic to heal the sick and injured.