14 Greatest Format-Breaking SF & Fantasy TV Episodes Ever 4

4 Star Trek: Voyager
“Living Witness" (1998)

There are many, many episodes throughout the Trek franchise that have a superficial claim to being format breakers. Unfortunately, it became rapidly obvious that whenever a Trek episode kicked off in weird fashion, invariably the words "spatial anomaly" or "holodeck malfunction" would come into play. Thus what would seem like a format-breaker was actually, usually, formulaic by Trek terms. “Living Witness” however, a genuine format breaker, and a little gem too. It kicks off with things strangely off-kilter; the crew‘s costumes are subtly different, they act like complete bastards, the ship has extra weapons and Vulcan Tuvok has a sense of humour. But before you can say “Mirror Universe" things turn out to be more interesting than that. This is an exhibit in an alien museum, 700 hundred years into Voyager’s future, showing the aliens' encounter with Voyager. It‘s a clever twist on the old, “history is written by the victors" adage. A very clever episode as well as being gimmicky, and all the more surprising because, well, it’s Voyager , which usually just slightly remade Next Generation episodes.

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