The Paper Chase (1978–1986)
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Billy Pierce 

Lynn Swann guest stars as an ex-NFL player who's now a 1-L student. (The secondary opening credits are accompanied by highlights of Pittsburgh Steelers games of the 1970s.) Pierce struggles... See full summary »

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(novel), (developed for television by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
... Professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.
... James T. Hart
Tom Fitzsimmons ... Franklin Ford III
... Willis Bell
... Gerald Golden (credit only)
Andra Millian ... Laura Kiernan
... Vivian Conway (as Penny Johnson)
... Rita Harriman (credit only)
Betty Harford ... Mrs. Nottingham
Mark Schubb ... Richard Simms
Lynn Swann ... Billy Pierce
Daniel Zippi ... Student in Library
... Levitz
... Berger (as Gabriel Yorke)
Roy Firestone ... Himself
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Storyline

Lynn Swann guest stars as an ex-NFL player who's now a 1-L student. (The secondary opening credits are accompanied by highlights of Pittsburgh Steelers games of the 1970s.) Pierce struggles to grasp the Law School pace, especially since the mid-term exam is coming up. Many of the 1-L students ace Kingsfield's exam. Coincidentally, Nottingham finds that a test has been stolen from her files. Several students are suspected, including Willis Bell. Written by JEFJR

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Drama

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Release Date:

21 August 1984 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The episode starts with a montage of footage of the Pittsburgh Steelers game action, featuring Lynn Swan who guest stars in the episode as Billy Pierce, a star running back. Swan was a wide receiver. See more »

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Season two goes out with a whimper
31 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

Why did the producers of PAPER CHASE round off season two with episodes that ignore some of the main players? There are no scenes in the law review in #2.18 or #2.19, and almost no scenes with Hart and Ford, two of the primary characters.

As with the previous episode, this one depends on a central character we've never seen before, one of the many "students of convenience" who appear miraculously when the writers needed a new plot device. This time it's football great Lynn Swann, who puts in a decent performance.

The plot does have one of the hallmarks of the better episodes: namely, a group of students facing a Kingsfield exam. (One might ask how there could be two midterms in a row; the previous episode also dealt with a similar test.) But the main participants are second-tier cast members, including some we've hardly seen before (such as a thin Jon Lovitz), and much of the dialog consists of students shouting at each other, which becomes tiresome.

Did the writing staff run out of ideas for Hart & Ford? Or were the final two episodes just dregs that kept getting put off, rather than being mixed in with the better offerings? In any case, it's a shame that the season ended so half-Hart-edly.


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