Viewers think the ITV World Cup studio looks like the Tardis

Has the Doctor parked in Russia?

Doctor Who Tardis

Doctor Who and football go together like a wool scarf and a love of jellybabies, and the beautiful game has enjoyed a long association with the BBC sci-fi series.

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What, don’t believe us? Think the venn diagram of Whovians and football supporters is just two very angry, obsessive circles?

Well then, we’d point you to the fact that Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor was a keen footballer in a few episodes (based on Smith’s own semi-pro background), new companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) was actually announced during an FA Cup semi-final AND that the most recent episode (Christmas special Twice Upon a Time) built its entire emotional climax on a kickabout between England and Germany.

And then there’s the new connection to the 2018 World Cup, which kicked off its first game in Russia on Thursday night with yet another Doctor Who crossover – a set for the ITV punditry team that had clearly been lent to the broadcaster by the High Council of Gallifrey.

Yep, it looked very like a souped-up, football-themed Tardis, which can either mean that one of ITV’s pundits is a Time Lord OR the newly-minted Thirteenth Doctor left it parked somewhere while she went off to enjoy a match.

Or it could just be that after years of Doctor Who referencing football, the game decided to return the favour.

Whatever the truth, we’re sure that this final crossover will be the thing to pack stadiums with eager Whovians, while football fans in their millions start making time on Saturday evenings for some family-friendly sci-fi adventures. It’s just inevitable at this stage.

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Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn