In 1998, as fears grew about the millennium bug, Scotland Yard kept a secret dossier on Star Trek, The X-Files, and other US sci fi shows amid fears that British fans would go mad and kill themselves.
Dr Who was not around then to save the day so American TV shows Roswell and Dark Skies and the film The Lawnmower Man were also monitored to protect the country from rioting and cyber attacks.
Special Branch was concerned that people hooked on such material could go into a frenzy triggered by the millennium leading to anarchy.
An confidential report to the Metropolitan Police, thought to have been filed around 1998-99, listed concerns about conspiracy theorists who believed the end of the world was nigh.
“Fuel is added to the fire by television dramas and feature films mostly produced in America,” the report said.
“These draw together the various strands of religion, UFOs, conspiracies, and mystic events and put them in an entertaining storyline.”
It added: “Obviously this is not sinister in itself, what is of concern is the devotion certain groups and individuals ascribe to the contents of these programmes.”
The dossier – called UFO New Religious Movements and the Millennium – was drawn up in response to the 1997 mass suicide by Heaven’s Gate cultists. Group members were “ardent followers of The X-Files and Star Trek” according to Special Branch.
The daft report was found under the Freedom of Information Act by Sheffield-based British X-Files expert Dr Dave Clarke while researching a new book, How UFOs Conquered the World.
It would be interesting to see if Special Branch monitors Apple fanboys, if so they might have been concerned about mass suicides when Steve Jobs died.