The Good Doctor fans distracted by major character change

The Good Doctor: Seasons 6 Episode 6 Promo

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Dr Isabel Barnes (previously played by Marsha Thomason) has just made a few appearances in the St Bonaventure Hospital over the years, having last been seen in the first season of the ABC drama. She finally made her triumphant return in this week’s episode of The Good Doctor’s sixth season, but viewers couldn’t help noticing a rather dramatic change.

The audience who tuned in on Monday night was rather distracted when they realised the role of Dr Barnes had been recast.

Isabel was initially introduced as the wife of Dr Marcus Andrews (Hill Harper) before they separated in season four.

She’ll now be portrayed by Golden Brooks, best known for her role as Maya Denise Wilkes in the CBS sitcom Girlfriends.

Her return this week offered some much-needed closure, and also suggested Isabel could start making more regular appearances.

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However, long-running fans of the series couldn’t help noticing the character looks completely different compared to when they last saw her.

Twitter user @CChangfansBR wrote: “I would like to know why they changed the actress who played Andrews’ ex-wife, Isabel.

“In season one, she was Marsha Thomason… Who remembers?

“Not that Golden Brooks is bad, on the contrary, she’s an excellent actress, but it’s about exchanging without explanations…”

They added: “But it’s weird… knowing that the character has one face and suddenly it’s another…

“They should have checked the actress’s availability before writing the character’s return. I think.”

@audreylimisbi said: “Can’t believe they changed Isabel’s actress after completely abandoning her character after one season.”

Princella D Smith liked the change, posting: “@therealgolden47 gracing my screen on @GoodDoctorABC was an unexpected surprise! Underrated actress and forever a legend for #girlfriends.”

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And Brooke Parker admitted to some confusion, tweeting: “Saw Andrew’s ex was recast!

“Wasn’t sure if we’ve seen her, or if she was a new character! I said about her being played by Golden Brooks!”

Reddit user RAS310 commented: “Isabel’s back! Though it looks like she’s played by a different actress.

“How exactly was she brought into all this? It seems she doesn’t work for St. Bonaventure anymore since she was wearing a Visitor tag.”

To which Topay84 replied: “I caught that too about Isabel. She doesn’t even look kind of close to the first actress who played her.

“I’m not saying she needs to be a clone. But it did appear a bit jarring to see such a contrast.”

Fans were clearly distracted by the change, though hopefully they’ll warm up to the new actress if Isabel starts making more regular appearances.

Meanwhile, there’s still plenty of drama for Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), Lea Dilallo (Paige Spara) and the rest of St Bonaventure’s staff to get stuck into.

The Good Doctor season 6 continues Mondays on ABC in the USA. A UK release date is yet to be announced.

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