14 Things We Learned About The Good Doctor at PaleyFest

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HNS attended the PaleyFest panel for The Good Doctor at the Dolby Theater where we were treated to an advance screening of the season finale and a panel packed of the actors and creators. In attendance was Creator David Shore, Daniel Dae Kim, Freddie Highmore, Nicholas Gonzalez, Antonia Thomas, Richard Schiff, Hill Harper, and Tamlyn Tomita. Check out photos from the event and 14 things we learned at the panel below!


14 Things We Learned About The Good Doctor at PaleyFest

  • Freddie Highmore spoke about how it’s important to him that Shaun represents one person with autism, he is not a representation of ALL autistic people, just like one woman isn’t representative of all women, one black man isn’t representive of all black men, etc. 
  • Hill Harper said being a new father has impacted him and Dr. Andrews’ struggles with infertility hits close to his heart. To have that option taken away would be so hard. 
  • The origin of the Dr. Melendez tattoo remains a mystery. Nicholas Gonzalez states that there was a draft of an “un-explanation,” but we still don’t have the details. He thinks there will be an answer some day. Creator David Shore told a hilarious story about how he asked Nicholas Gonzalez to see his shoulder, expecting him to just lift that part of his shirt a little. But instead, Nicholas took off his whole shirt, and David was very impressed with what he saw.
  • Tamlyn Tomita says she isn’t sure if we will see the romance with the younger guy come to fruition, but that she would love to see that fleshed out.
  • Hill Harper doesn’t like Dr. Andrews being considered the “bad guy.” He enjoys that Dr. Andrews shows a more vulnerable side at home. He jokes about the fans who will approach him on the street and talk about how he’s the bad guy, but he doesn’t see him that way. This elicits a skeptical, laughing response from the rest of the panel. 
  • The complexities of Shaun’s character was discussed. Freddie Highmore sees both sides of him. On the one hand, he’s gifted and sees things in ways that others can’t which proves to be extremely valuable. On the other hand, he makes mistakes that others don’t. It’s important to acknowledge both sides. 
  • Antonia Thomas says there are a lot of similarities between herself and Claire. There are a lot of good qualities that Claire possesses that she aspires to be like. One of these ways is how she refused to be a victim in the face of sexual harassment. This storyline was developed before the Me Too/ Times Up movements, and when asked if they will revisit this, the showrunners are unsure. It was important to them that they had some type of resolution and they felt that they had that with Claire reaching out to the other women he harassed. 
  • Hill Harper credits the writing of The Good Doctor, as this attracted him to the role. He said he will move anywhere for great writing. This elicited a joking response from the showrunners, that he he [like his character] just wanted to be in charge.
  • Richard Schiff jokes that he used to be a thinker but with his senility, he’s now able to turn his brain off. He then says that people think he’s smart because he is quiet.
  • We didn’t get a concrete answer if Claire’s mom will return to the show. Antonia would love if she did though, but David Shore wouldn’t give us the answer.
  • The audience at PaleyFest got to see the season finale, and I of course can’t spoil it but there is going to potentially be big repercussions for an event that happens. David Shore says he is looking forward to exploring the fall-out of the season finale.
  • Daniel Kim explained how The Good Doctor originated from Korea, and this is why at the beginning of every show we see that Broadcasting message that pays tribute to Korea. For him, it is important to have diversity both in front of and behind the camera.
  • Hill Harper is the biggest jokester on set, and told a funny story about how they crashed as a result of his prank-going ways.
  • Regarding the show’s autism portrayal, David Shore says it is about treating the character as a human being. Without spoiling too much, I will say that Shaun hugs someone in the finale episode, and Freddie Highmore talks about how that hug shows how he is changing over time. Yes, he will still have autism, but it is narrow-minded to say he can’t change. We get to see how he adapts and grows and gains confidence. People learn from Shaun.

The season finale of The Good Doctor airs March 26th.

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