The only fault the loyal fans of “The Good Doctor” find with the ABC medical drama is its lengthy holiday hiatus. In the case of Season 4, the away-from-air break began after the November 30 Winter Finale episode, “Fault.” Viewers will need a few more weeks of patience before Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) and the dedicated team of physicians and administrators at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital will be back to their calling of treating patients on January 11.

David Shore’s unparalleled skill at weaving the lives of patients intricately and inextricably into the lives of those who treat them began with “House” in 2004.

Hugh Laurie’s dead-on perfection as the addicted, eccentric, acerbic, but somehow lovable doctor drew millions of eyes to small screens every week. The show’s eight-season run became part of the bedrock of the FOX network. Creative lightning struck again for David Shore in 2017 when “The Good Doctor” became ABC's highest-rated debut ever. Freddie Highmore praised that it was the creator’s conceptualization of the Savant surgeon overcoming an abusive background and constantly proving his skills as he copes with his challenges in real relationships that lured the actor.

In this era of short-run and limited series fare in the land of TV Shows, renewal is a fight. “The Good Doctor” has been granted early renewal for three consecutive seasons. Season 4 finds Dr.

Murphy in more challenging and unfamiliar territory than ever. For the first time, the surgeon is in a supervisory role. He not only accountable for his own actions and behavior, but for those of his residents.

One of the most committed doctors in the group is Dr. Asher Wolke, portrayed by Noah Galvin. As creator David Shore elaborated in features in The Jerusalem Post on December 31 and The Jewish Telegraphic Agency on December 30, the character’s inspiration was very close to home.

Wolke has much more to reveal on “The Good Doctor.”

A faith conundrum on ‘The Good Doctor’

At 61, David Shore can claim his own kind of religious education. The prolific television writer and creator has two Orthodox rabbi brothers. Shore and producers of “The Good Doctor” felt it was essential to surround Dr. Murphy with junior doctors from entirely different backgrounds and life experiences from his own.

“We spent a lot of time discussing the various characters,” the mentor reiterates.

Dr. Wolke openly discloses to a critically ill patient, Carlos Porter, how he chose to forsake his Hasidic faith and family for his medical career in the Winter Finale episode. The patient presumes the cause of the rift is related to gender identity and orientation, detailing his own personal history. The full reasons from the character himself will unfold on “The Good Doctor” through coming episodes. David Shore has all the source material necessary from looking into the lives of his nieces and nephews.

Some of the beloved relatives “are no longer religious, and I am fascinated by their experiences,” the creator confesses. No doubt, the real-life situations of how they “were brought up in one world and chose another” will be reflected in some of Dr.

Wolke’s story. Uncle David is careful to say that the character doesn't represent his relatives, but only inspired them. “I love all my nephews and nieces.” Fans can expect future plot-lines of “The Good Doctor” to feature an appearance by the “one sister” with whom the resident maintains contact.

The healing will take time in ‘The Good Doctor’ Winter Premiere

In one of the most strikingly memorable scenes from the Winter Finale, Dr. Wolke obliges Mr. Porter's request to offer a prayer of healing. No matter the hesitancy, the dedicated resident’s Hebrew is flawless. Tragically, the patient loses his fight for life in the OR, despite the best efforts from “The Good Doctor” and the team to devise a surgical save. Wolke desperately tries to resuscitate Porter, despite his certain expiration.

The same presence that Noah Galvin brought in “Dear Evan Hansen” penetrated beyond all dialogue.

Shaun Murphy tells his grieving surgeon in-training that he can go home. Wolke declares that he doesn't want to be alone. In the most magnanimous and sensitive gesture, he can muster, “The Good Doctor” sits in silence commune and compassion with his student.

No doctor ever forgets the first patient ever lost, and Dr. Wolke will have to process grief while completing the rigors of a demanding residency. The student may or may not wrestle with issues of faith. According to a preview from The Futon Critic, however, the fallout is even more consequential for “The Good Doctor.”

In the January 11 episode, “Lim,” Dr. Murphy decides that he no longer wants to continue teaching his residents.

Dr. Audrey Lim certainly will have other ideas, and she has her own aftermath to face. The tragic toll of the virus crisis catches up, sooner or later. Dr. Lim (Christina Chang), unlike Dr. Browne (Antonia Thomas), got no intercession from the spiritual presence of Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez). Instead, she stuffed her grief to do the job she had to do. The winter premiere will present a patient suffering from PTSD. Dr. Browne will propose a “radical” treatment that may purge some nightmares for both physician and patient.

A matter of choice for ‘The Good Doctor’

The Good Doctor” creator knows about deciding on a different path in life, too. For a number of years, David Shore practiced law, focusing on mostly municipal and tax law, until he found himself so unfulfilled that his energy was going into writing in the evenings.

He made the break to move to Los Angeles in 1988. He admits that his parents were “nervous,” however supportive. The decision seems to be divinely directed, now that Shore has steered two medical series to celebrated acclaim.

Another note on the upside is the recovery of Richard Schiff, who portrays Dr. Aaron Glassman, and his wife, Sheila Kelley, who portrays his character’s on-screen wife. The star was hospitalized with the virus while production on “The Good Doctor” continued. Fans can look to some future tender scenes between the mentor and Dr. Murphy. The journey to wellness was no walk in the park for the 65-year-old star, but he is feeling stronger now.

In a very brief video snippet of the return episode of “The Good Doctor,” Freddie Highmore portrays his character in a playful scene in a shower with Paige Spara, Dr.

Murphy's love, Lea. Another glimpse shows the surgeon asking “Who wants to scrub in for surgery?”

“I'm working to be a better surgeon, a better boyfriend, better at the things I've chosen,” “The Good Doctor” declares. The drama’s devoted following and the world are waiting for better days.

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