Freddie Highmore Bids Emotional Farewell to 'The Good Doctor'

Freddie Highmore shares his thoughts on 'The Good Doctor's' end

by Zain ul Abedin
Freddie Highmore Bids Emotional Farewell to 'The Good Doctor'
© Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Freddie Highmore is grappling with the reality that ABC's acclaimed medical drama, "The Good Doctor," is drawing to a close after seven successful seasons. The actor, who has brought the character of Dr. Shaun Murphy to life, recently reflected on this significant milestone during PEOPLE's visit to the Vancouver set in March.

Highmore, 31, expressed his mixed emotions about saying goodbye to the show and its team. "Looking back at the seven years, it's going to be so hard to say goodbye to this," he said. "We've gone through so much together." The actor noted how the cast and crew became like family, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We were the only people that any of us were seeing outside of immediate family for a good couple of years, and that experience brought us closer," he added. In the penultimate episode titled "Unconditional," viewers see significant developments in the characters' lives.

Shaun shares a heartfelt moment with Hannah, a character battling drug addiction, while Dr. Glassman's influence on his life is highlighted. Meanwhile, Morgan and Alex tie the knot, and Claire undergoes treatment for stage 1 breast cancer.

Highmore hinted at a "satisfying" and "surprising" series finale, airing Tuesday, May 21, that will tie together the characters' journeys and hint at their futures. "It will feel like in some ways we've come full circle, but at the same time, see our characters off into the future," he said.

Autism Representation Legacy

The actor is particularly proud of how "The Good Doctor" has portrayed Shaun's autism with nuance and respect. Since the show's debut in September 2017, it has chronicled Shaun's challenges and triumphs, challenging stereotypes and changing perceptions about autism.

"If there's anything I hope the show has done, I hope it has helped challenge stereotypes and change people's perceptions about autism," Highmore shared. As the series wraps up, Highmore acknowledges the difficulty of parting with his character but notes that parts of Shaun will always remain with him.

"He is so hopeful and optimistic," he said. "I feel that's what people have connected with over the years, that even when we're different, we're all actually more the same than different." Highmore, who married in 2021 but has kept his wife's identity private, has spent much of his time away from his London home filming the show.

Despite his uncertainty about what comes next, he cherishes the experience and the impact of his role. "I honestly have no idea what's next. It probably won’t sink in that it’s all over until they take a sledgehammer to the set," he admitted.

The series finale of "The Good Doctor" airs on Tuesday, May 21, at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. Fans can stream all seven seasons on Hulu, reliving the journey of Dr. Shaun Murphy and the memorable moments that made the show a standout.