Freddie Highmore has every reason to feel good this week, like the rest of his friends and castmates on “The Good Doctor.” Variety reports from March 7 proclaim the good news that the series is renewed by ABC for a second season. The show was a breakout hit in its debut year for the network, and the number of viewers remained high.

News of another season is reassuring if not surprising after the success of the inaugural year. Themes of inclusion, acceptance, and continual learning through the human experience permeate every episode of “The Good Doctor,” as viewers come to know each character’s life and struggles.

Beyond living with autism, Dr. Murphy's character has learned newfound dimensions of love, independence, and friendship through the current season. The autistic savant surgeon is learning along with the rest of humanity that many emotions about life, love, and saving lives change with time and perception.

Freddie Highmore also has travel plans on his calendar for next month. The actor is paying a visit to Australia, letting them see the man behind the surgical mask. He will no doubt be exploring more of the terrain down under and its incredible sun, surf, and wildlife. The British star is clearly proud of what “The Good Doctor” exemplifies in these times of division and hurt, and his castmates join him in coming forward to stand up for the series.

Highmore and high praise

“The Good Doctor” was dubbed the “undisputed freshman hit” from the current 2017-18 broadcast television season. Freddie Highmore serves as one of the series’ executive producers in addition to his leading role. Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, conveyed in an exuberant statement that the “message of inclusiveness” that draws viewers is most importantly “a hallmark of what we aim to accomplish here at ABC.” Dungey lauded that the drama has “joined the zeitgeist” and “broken records in the competitive television landscape.”

The drama averages 1.8 in the coveted 18-49 ratings demographic, and 9.8 million viewers per episode in the Nielsen Live rating figures.

Numbers like that might make the show a shoo-in for renewal, but from the start, Freddie Highmore had big ideas for the show’s social and cultural impact.

Creator David Shore assured his lead actor that his performance image would shift entirely from his previous role as the young Norman Bates to the surgeon on the autism spectrum.

What captivated Freddie Highmore, even more, was that no character portrayal like Shaun Murphy had been seen on broadcast television. His primary goal, supported by all the cast, was to “get it right.” Highmore described in an AOL interview that the thrill of that challenge was irresistible and that a future was envisioned for Shaun Murphy and “The Good Doctor” from the initial conversations between him and Shore.

The future awaits

Freddie Highmore describes that he and David Shore had a design in mind for the character arc of Shaun Murphy in their first talks. It was clear that the character would be “sustainable over multiple episodes and seasons of storytelling.”

Dr. Murphy has already coped with adversarial relationships at work, especially from self-elevating Dr.

Reznick. The barbs from Dr. Melendez are softening, and the two characters are coming to terms with respect. Freddie Highmore has recently hinted that he and his love, Lea, may not be physically reunited this season with her move to Hershey, Pennsylvania. He will be “pining for her” through the end of this season, but the possibility is definitely there for the pair to come together in the future.

Freddie Highmore exclaimed to the Daily Mail a week or so ago that he has always dreamed of visiting Australia, and those dreams are coming true on March 9, when the actor travels to the continent and plans to make exploring part of the excursion, along with meeting “all those who have so warmly embraced ‘The Good Doctor’” down under.

The linguistically-gifted actor will probably return with a perfect Australian accent. He is already fluent in Spanish, French, and Arabic, as well as his English and American dialect, reflecting Casper, Wyoming.

No matter the accolades for “The Good Doctor,” there are always the few who miss the point.

When the mother of autistic sons made an accusation on Twitter that the drama was overly political, co-star Nicholas Gonzalez, who portrays Dr. Neil Melendez, sprang to defend the show and his craft. Gonzales noted the “41,999,999 fans who watch each week” and the artistry of actors who "break down the veneer overlying society’s hard heart.”

With talent and social consciousness like this on display every week on “The Good Doctor,” perhaps everyone involved should expect a decade-long residency on television.