Shaun navigates the COVID-19 pandemic in The Good Doctor season 4 first look
The writers of The Good Doctor felt they had a responsibility to tackle the devastating COVID-19 pandemic in the upcoming fourth season.
"We did consider not doing this," showrunner David Shore tells EW. "We're not sure people want to watch what they've been living through for so long. But that felt dishonest for a medical show. And the humanity of it all; those stories deserved to be told."
The ABC drama hopes to honor those stories with its two-part season 4 premiere, which follows Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) through the months at the heart of the pandemic. "Shaun will bring his own perspective to the frustrations that medical personnel all across the world have been dealing with," Shore says. "The overwhelming uncertainty, the danger, and the failures. And the masks."
The exclusive season 4 image above reveals how St. Bonaventure's doctors are adapting to the ongoing crisis. As you can see in the photo, the doctors now wear photo badges on top of their personal protective equipment so that their patients have something to relate to, since the doctors' faces are covered by masks.
Speaking of the patients: The heartfelt series is also trying to stretch itself a bit more in that arena. "We will explore, more than we usually do, the experiences of patients, alone, cut off from family during their most desperate days," says Shore, adding that they'll also check in with "the rest of us, healthy but not going anywhere, and the often amusing challenges that come from being trapped with our loved ones."
Looking at the rest of the season, viewers can also expect it to explore the aftermath of Dr. Melendez's (Nicholas Gonzalez) death in the season 3 finale and the progression of Shaun and Lea's (Paige Spara) new romantic relationship.
The Good Doctor returns Monday, Nov. 2, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.