‘The Good Doctor’ EP Liz Friedman Says a Real-Life Parent Had to Step in for Episode 1 Baby Changing Sequence

Freddie Highmore looks back on the “magical” experience working with the babies on set of the ABC drama

Freddie Highmore and Paige Spara in "The Good Doctor" Season 7 Episode 1 (ABC/Jeff Weddell)

Note: This story contains spoilers from “The Good Doctor” Season 7, Episode 1.

After Shaun Murphy and his wife Lea welcomed a baby boy named Steve at the end of Season 6, Tuesday’s season premiere of “The Good Doctor,” titled “Baby, Baby, Baby,” sees the former return to San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital to tackle his first case — two baby patients in need of the same heart — while also balancing parenting their own child.

“It was so many babies and each baby has their own doubles for the most part,” executive producer and co-showrunner Liz Friedman told TheWrap. “They were so game for everything.”

But taking care of babies on set proved to be a daunting undertaking for star Freddie Highmore, who doesn’t have kids in real life.

“When we shot the first episode, I was on set with Freddie and Paige [Spara] and our director Rebecca Moline, none of whom have kids,” Friedman explained. “So all of a sudden we realize I’m the baby expert in the room going, ‘you grab two feet together and hoist them up and slide that diaper,’ and you’re talking Freddie Highmore through like ‘No, no, just manhandle that baby a little more.’

Friedman noted that the baby’s actual mother had to step into Highmore’s wardrobe and surgical gown during filming of the episode’s changing sequence.

“A lot of it is the mom because Freddie was really reluctant to toss the baby around in the way that you do as a parent for the changing,” she added. “So it was really fun.”

Despite his nervousness around being careful and gentle with the babies on set, Highmore told TheWrap that working with them was “magical.”

“It’s so rare that you’re confronted with a baby almost out of the blue and there’s scenes that we’ve done when babies are born and you’re sort of going through that emotionally and then someone brings in this real life baby that is so tiny and it’s magical,” he said. “You sense it with the crew. It’s like everyone kind of quiets down a little bit more and it feels that little bit more special.”

Freddie Highmore and Paige Spara in “The Good Doctor” Season 7 (ABC/Jeff Weddell)

In addition to Highmore and Spara, Season 7 of “The Good Doctor” stars Richard Schiff, Christina Chang, Fiona Gubelmann, Will Yun Lee, Noah Galvin and Bria Samoné Henderson.

The series, which comes from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Signature, is executive produced by Highmore, Friedman, co-showrunner David Shore, Erin Gunn, Daniel Dae Kim, David Kim and Sebastian Lee.

New episodes of “The Good Doctor” air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. The episodes will also be available on next day on Hulu.

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