During his three-day visit to Australia on behalf of global hit The Good Doctor, Golden Globe-nominated actor Freddie Highmore, 26, learnt that the medical drama would be renewed for a second season. "I am absolutely thrilled," he told WHO. "I think we're all excited to get back into it and see where Shaun goes next on his journey, with hopefully more tequila and karaoke!"
For more on that, Highmore sat down with WHO to look back at some of the first season's key moments for his character Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome.
Episode 1: "Burnt Food"
As soon as Dr Shaun Murphy arrives California to begin his residency at San Jose St Bonaventure Hospital, he is forced to act fast to save a life. "This is an interesting scene because we get to see the effect of an overwhelming amount of senses on Shaun," Highmore says.
He also adds, "This was funny because it was actually in a stadium instead of a real airport. We're in this stadium called BC Place, the main soccer and Canadian football stadium there. So it felt odd, but it looked great in the end."
Episode 3: "Oliver"
Shaun and his supportive colleague Dr Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas) are sent to another hospital to get a liver for a transplant but have to think on their feet when weather prevents them from using a helicopter to return home. "It's refreshing to get out and about now and then from the hospital," Highmore says. "It's nice to see Shaun out on the road with Claire at such an early stage and this really consolidates their bond. And I think it plays to what we established in the pilot, that Shaun is capable of seeing solutions in a different way and coming up with unique solutions on the road when he maybe doesn't have all the necessary medical equipment with him."
As an added detail, Highmore says, "We did this scene outside the same day we landed the helicopter on the roof of, I think, the old post office in Vancouver, although we never did actually get to go into the helicopter. The doubles took off and we were there watching and waving goodbye!"
Episode 11 (10 in Australia): "Islands Part One"
Shaun's neighbour Lea (Paige Spara) encourages an independence-seeking Shaun to go on a spontaneous road trip where he drives, drinks tequila, sings karaoke and shares a kiss. "I think we had a couple more days to shoot this episode just because we were out on the road so much and in so many locations and not as cooped up," Highmore explains. "Getting to spend a whole episode with Paige was a joy. She brings such a loving energy to the role but also to the set and her enthusiasm is infectious and everyone loves having her around."
For Shaun, Highmore says, "It's an episode of firsts and exciting for him to leave the hospital environment behind for a little bit and see him focusing on other things. He's got other interests and hobbies."
As for the karaoke moment singing "Islands in the Stream," Highmore says he and Spara sang the full song. "We did a lot more of it to get us warmed up," he concedes. "I think they were only ever really planning on using the chorus, but we thought we may as well, you know, take it from the beginning and throw ourselves into it. I'm sure that footage is out there somewhere."
Episode 14" "She"
Dr Morgan Reznick (Fiona Gubelmann) emerges as a rival resident for Shaun. "As often ends up being the case, the people who play the nastiest actors are sometimes the nicest," Highmore says, "and Fiona is one of those." Her arrival means Shaun has to learn why people care about "getting credit" since "he doesn't necessarily see why competition is necessary or what she is playing at," Highmore says. "But I think at the same time, towards the end of the season, it will be nice to see how Claire and Shaun both have an effect on her and her attitude and hopefully she'll learn something!"
For more of Highmore's behind-the-scenes comments on 'The Good Doctor,' plck up the latest issue of WHO on newsstands today.
'The Good Doctor' airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on Seven.