7 The X-Files
Chris Carter’s groundbreaking show broke even more ground with this clever episode – by merging the format with fellow Fox network staple COPS . What seems like a normal episode of the police reality show takes a turn for the weird after what appears to be a werewolf attack. Suddenly the FBI appear – in the form of two agents who look rather familiar, although the redhead seems a little camera-shy – and after that all hell breaks loose as the residents of an LA suburb fend off waves of mysterious intruders. Some sequences were clearly improvised (see if you can spot David Duchovny trying not to crack up at one point) and the entire episode is filmed on gritty, handheld lenses with a soundtrack to match. The X-Files was one of those programmes that seemed to pride itself on breaking format time and again – this, however, was one of its finest (if often overlooked) hours.
Go to format breaker number 6