Paper Chase, based on the movie of the same name released in 1974, was by far the most literate of the new batch of 1978 shows. John Houseman resumed his Oscar-winnng role of the awesome Harvard law professor who by intimidation draws the best out of his students. James Stephens is his principal target, an unsophisticated but eager lad.
The Paper Chase expands on the trials and tribulations of law students first introduced in the theatrical film of the same name.
John Houseman reprises his Oscar-winning role from the film in the series, playing the tough professor Kingsfield.
The drama centers on a group of students who pool their resources in an effort to survive the rigors of law school. Most of them come from well-to-do backgrounds, but one, James T. Hart, must work in a
pizza parlor to make ends meet. The hassles of trying to study and keep a job make trouble for Hart early on the shows up for one of Kingsfield's classes unprepared and draws the professor's unending ire. Houseman's character is supposed to be evil incarnate disguised as a professor intent on creating good lawyers.