Popular UK family show Doctor Who will launch a veiled attack on British Prime Minister Tony Blair this Christmas (25DEC05) by broadcasting an anti-war episode.

The long-running sci-fi series will feature an alien invasion of Earth with actress Penelope Wilton playing the country's leader-in-crisis.

At one the stage the prime minister complains of the US president, "He is not my boss and he is certainly not turning this into a war," echoing criticisms of Blair's decision to take military action against Iraq.

A later scene recalls former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's controversial ruling to sink the General Belgrano during the Falklands conflict in 1982.

And the creators of the show feel no need to disguise their overt political attacks over the festive period.

Chief writer RUSSELL T DAVIES says, "It's Christmas Day, a day of peace. There is absolutely an anti-war message because that's what I think."

He adds of the apparent Blair slur, "She (the prime minister) does that very easy speech about not listening to the American president but at the end she's out of her depth and she does the wrong thing."

The hour-long show will also mark the debut of new lead character David Tennant, who replaces Christopher Eccleston in the role of the legendary doctor.