The Good Doctor” is learning that there is no cure to make everyone on a set feel safe in pandemic conditions. The millions of fans who thrive on the ABC medical drama like medicine for the soul every Monday were delighted in February when confirmation of Season 4 was confirmed by the network. Of course, February was just before the grip of a novel virus outbreak consumed the world and cost multiplied thousands of lives.

The world of TV Shows was immediately impacted and virtual broadcasting became the only way for productions to continue. Scripted shows, with scenes between actors and massive crews, were forced to shut down for the safety of all concerned.

Early in July, it was announced via Global News that When Calls the Heart,and “The Good Doctor,” were expected to start production in Vancouver toward the end of the month. Canada, and its film production hub in British Columbia, took far more stringent measures to initially contain the virus spread. Productions were required to submit full safety protocols to be approved by governmental authorities prior to the surge to begin a new season.

August 3 reports from TV Fanatic and the Daily Express confirm July 31 findings from The Hollywood Reporter that pre-production in advance of the August shooting start for Season 4 has been halted due to desires for more testing from some of “The Good Doctor” than guidelines from the British Columbia Council allow.

Better to be safe, indicates ‘The Good Doctor’ crew

Many a baffling case on “The Good Doctor” has been solved from the scrutiny of test results, which often lead to Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), the gifted savant surgeon on the ASD spectrum, devising some brilliant procedure to save a life. In the case of the drama’s crew, the request for more testing is at the crux of the production continuing.

A spokesperson for Sony Pictures Television conveys that “there is an issue with testing” and the drama is already “working to resolve [the matter] with the BC Council.”

Considering the lack of a national testing strategy in the US, and still-growing lines in numerous states simply to be tested, the concern is understandable.

The British Columbia Council maintains that because the virus has been better managed in Canada than in the US, testing is not needed as often.

A sense of personal safety, particularly in these times, is precious and difficult to quantify. Hopefully, a compromise can come between the government and the production entity to cover costs and ease concerns of dedicated and valuable crew members on “The Good Doctor.” These are real lives that deserve respect for all that is being risked to bring the drama to air.

Season 4 will still be a reality for ‘The Good Doctor’—just a little later

ABC proudly touts the acclaim and the accomplished cast of “The Good Doctor,” which led to the immediate spinoffs of “New Amsterdam” and “The Resident” on competing networks.

The network also has a very personal connection to the seriousness of the spreading illness. Daniel Dae Kim, one of its executive producers, was among the first people of note to contract the virus. As soon as he was recovered, he provided plasma donations to help other patients. He is set to start a new role in “New Amsterdam” when the series resumes production.

Fans recall Kim for his role as Dr. Jackson Han in Season 2 of “The Good Doctor.” He admired the dedication and the brilliance of the resident, Dr. Murphy, but didn't think he belonged as a surgeon. Ultimately, the choice came to Dr. Andrews (Hill Harper) to retain Shaun and fire Han.

The Bold and the Beautiful” and similar issues with testing, but is now back in production, so fans of “The Good Doctor” have every reason to look forward to Season 4.

It may be just a little later than planned. The network was hopeful for a fall 2020 premiere, but now that may be pushed to early 2021-- a small price in patience to pay for the well-crafted episodes that perform marvelously on digital platforms along with the traditional broadcast.

Grief for departed characters may be harder than the delay for ‘The Good Doctor’

There will be a lot for Dr. Murphy to confront in the coming season. He performs an amputation underwater to save his patient after an earthquake, but he doesn't know that surgical mentor, Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) has perished from sepsis after internal injuries.

Gonzalez is alive and well and working for good as the ambassador for the Masks4Farmworkers Campaign.

He has been an active voice since the early days of the outbreak. Besides simply being alive, he is surely sleeping well at night.

The founding character was a fan favorite and fondly loved. Dr. Brown (Antonia Thomas) and Dr. Lim (Christina Chang) will find common ground in their grief. Shaun Murphy and many dedicated fans will miss the selfless dedication of Dr. Carly Lever, deftly brought to the screen by Jasika Nicole. The actress openly expressed her feelings about not being invited back as a regular cast member on “The Good Doctor.” Hopefully, that status can be reconsidered.

Some romantic choices will have to come for Dr. Murphy as well. He and Lea (Paige Spara) had their long-awaited kiss and she gave her profession of love in the Season 3 finale, but a kiss doesn't always make everything better, and it certainly doesn't change who someone is.

No matter when “The Good Doctor” returns to screens, twists and even deeper changes are sure to come on the drama, but the wait will definitely prove worth it, so long as everyone is safe and well.

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