Shaun Murphy is the star of the feel-good TV show, The Good Doctor. Here are some lesser-known facts about the prodigal medical practitioner.
A feel good show for some, an inspiration for many, The Good Doctor was inspired from a South Korean medical drama of the same name. While the extremely successful SK original only aired for a few months, the counterpart ran for three seasons. The show focuses on a gifted autistic doctor who aspires to be a surgeon and save lots of lives. Doctor Shaun Murphy is played by the talented protégé Freddie Highmore, who also wore the hats of producer and occasional writer for the series. Today, we are going to share ten details about Shaun which fans might have overlooked.
Doctor Shaun Murphy does not only have autism, but he also has an extremely rare condition called the Savant Syndrome.
A regular person having this syndrome is incredibly brilliant in some fields of his/her interest, but, if an autistic person has this syndrome, he (or she) is almost a super human, thereby having a skill set much more refined and powerful than average human beings. The good doctor is an autistic savant, that’s why he is so smart and comes across as medical genius.
Shaun is autistic himself, but, surprisingly, he had never met any other autistic person until he met one at the hospital. This might be because he never had supportive parents or a dedicated support group. His parents, especially, his father were very abusive (physically and mentally), which was why his brother and he ran away from their home. His mother was sensitive towards him, but, probably she didn’t care enough to do something about it.
Proficient In Spanish
Shaun Murphy is a super-smart diagnostician as was depicted throughout the series. But, his area of expertise does not limit to just medicine, he is quite adept with languages too. He understands and speaks Spanish with ease. In one episode, he could easily understand Japanese even when there were no subtitles on the screen. However, this could probably be a lot easier because the actor Freddie Highmore has double first degrees in Spanish and Arabic from Cambridge University.
Difficulty In Cognitive Empathy
Shaun is autistic, so, he has trouble dealing with emotions. With time though, he has successfully improved his emotional empathy to an extent where even if he doesn’t always directly ask the person, he seems to understand the emotional state of a person well.
He does have trouble dealing with cognitive empathy, however. This means that he has trouble understanding why a person is upset or if his words or actions upset someone.
His Current Age
Shaun and his younger brother Steve ran away from home when they were very young. It has been mentioned several times that he was 14 years old then. Doctor Glassman said in the opening scene that he had known him for 14 years. This means Shaun is around 26 years old in the current storyline of the first season. That seems like pretty good progress for a person with this condition.
Lea Could Have Been His Girlfriend
The good doctor Shaun really liked Lea and it was quite apparent that both of them had a sort of chemistry when they met for the first time. Lea had knocked on the door of his mundane apartment and semi lonely life to ask for three batteries. The actress was supposed to star in just two episodes, but, she lingered. She was also the first woman Shaun ever liked. This all went out the window though when she went for that trip without telling Shaun about it. She could have been his girlfriend if she didn’t.
Shaun loves football. It is mentioned in more than one episode that he loves the sport. His mentor Doctor Glassman share the love too and they sometimes talk about it over the breakfast table.
He is shown remembering his childhood flashbacks too where he wanted to play football, but, the other boys bully him and beat him even. Even when these memories are irrevocably attached with the pain they caused him, he likes to recall those moments.
Shaun loves cats too. This detail was subtly revealed in one of the first episodes. He had just arrived in his new apartment, he saw a feral cat sprawled out on his terrace. That night, his new neighbor Lea came looking for a few batteries. While leaving, she gave him a tip not to feed the cat as it would never leave him alone if he did. But, in the next scene, it is shown that he bought canned food for the cat and put it out outside.
He Doesn’t Like Questions
Shaun absolutely hates confrontations. He does like to indulge in conversations with people or his friends, but, does not like being asked direct questions. This was discovered by an anxious Claire.
She really wanted to connect with him somehow and understand how he works. When she asked Dr. Glassman about how to bond with him, the latter asked her to figure a way out. Amidst a one way conversation, she realized he was not answering to questions, but, was normally responding to her when she wasn’t asking something. Actually, people with autism tend to avoid stress and that has aptly been portrayed through the terrific performance of the actor.
The Foster Mother
When Shaun’s brother died in an accident, he phoned Dr. Glassman who helped him deal with all the hard times. The police were taking him to his parents but didn’t when they saw he didn’t want to return to his family. His old friend and mentor Glassman helped him with a foster home. The mom was really distant in her demeanor with him, but, she did care for him nonetheless. She was really broken when the authorities had to take him away after she fell sick.
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