London - "Must be the spooky facial similarity between ISS Flight Engineer Colonel Yuri Malenchenko and Line Of Duty's DS Steve Arnott," a NASA source said today as news of the broadcast link-up was announced, "it's made the the whole Station crew crazy for the show."
The popular TV police drama about an internal affairs probe of a 'bent' top cop sees Malenchenko-lookalike Martin Compston play a defective - er...detective! - sergeant investigating too-good-to-be-true DCI Tony Gates.
The show has attracted a huge terrestrial fan base as well as Russian cosmonauts aboard NASA's orbiting eye-in-the-sky.
Their Commander Gennady Padalka was recently dubbed a dead ringer for Line Of Duty Superintendent Ted Hastings - played by Adrian Dunbar - the anti-corruption sleuth who honed his career outsmarting the IRA.
Other Station spacemen F/E Joe Acaba, F/E Sergei Revin, F/E Sunita Williams and F/E Akihiko Hoshide have yet to feature in the BBC2 smash-hit despite sending their impressive CVs to the broadcaster's Head of Slight Entertainment division.
UK agents have confirmed casting studios' interest in using the astronauts in cameo roles for the next Dr Who series.
Tonight's episode 4 of the show will be streamed live aboard the ISS with playback available on the Beeb's i-in-the-sky-Player.
Neil Morrissey is nearly 69.