U.K. science group lobbies for female Doctor Who
Amid speculation in the U.K. over who will replace David Tennant on TV's Doctor Who, a group representing women in science is calling for a female Time Lord.
The U.K. Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (UKRC) has set up a Facebook page and online survey in an effort to persuade public broadcaster BBC to replace Tennant with a woman.
"There is a distinct lack of role models of female scientists in the media, and recent research shows that this contributes to the under-representation of women in the field," a spokeswoman for the group said.
"The UKRC believes that making a high-profile sci-fi character with a following like Doctor Who female would help to raise the profile of women in science and bring the issue of the important contribution women can and should make to science in the public domain."
Among the female actors suggested for the role are Alex Kingston, Helen Mirren, comedian Jenny Eclair or Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.
There is precedent for Doctor Who, the alien time traveller who protects Earth from the bad guys, to undergo a metamorphosis, supporters of the group argue on Facebook.
The original Doctor Who, from the 1960s, was a bookish professor. But in the current incarnation, in the BBC series resumed in 2005, Doctor Who is a much more athletic and youthful alien.
The U.K. group is suggesting any female doctor might have a male sidekick, reversing the usual gender roles on the program.
Tennant announced in October he would leave the role after making five special episodes set to air over the next two years. The next full series is set to run in 2010.
Doctor Who runs on CBC Television in Canada.