Helen Mirren as Jane Tennyson in long-running crime drama “Prime Suspect”. (Photo: ITV)
Let’s be honest, as a people, we have probably not done anything in the past year which was good enough for the cosmos to ever reward us with this casting decision. But we can dream, right? Helen Mirren is basically perfect, and we should all be so lucky that she’d ever grace Doctor Who with her presence. That she’d be amazing is a given. That she’d probably never actually play the Doctor anyway, almost equally so. But just think about it. From the clothes, to the snappy one-liners, to the withering stares, she’d be incredible. A Thirteen for the ages. And if we’re going to aim to shake up the franchise by finally casting a woman, shouldn’t we aim as high as possible?
There are very few actresses who exist in the same strata of excellence as Mirren. Only a handful of other women are even remotely on her level, and they all come with “Dame” in front of their names. Think Maggie Smith, Judi Dench or Diana Rigg. Mirren has played every kind of role, from a troubled police detective in Prime Suspect to the Queen of England herself – multiple times. (She not only won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, she won multiple theater awards for tackling the role a second time on stage in the play The Audience.) She can do anything, and that definitely includes being the Doctor.
Unfortunately, no matter how much we might like to see the Queen step into the TARDIS, Mirren herself doesn’t seem that keen on the part. However, she’s a big fan of the idea that the show needs to become more progressive in its casting decisions. In fact, Mirren has been pushing for a female Doctor for years, and was one of the first big celebrity voices on the subject. “I’m not going to be the first female Doctor Who. No, no, no. Absolutely not, I absolutely wouldn’t contemplate that,” Mirren told the morning show Daybreak back in 2013. “But I do think it’s well over-time to have a female Doctor Who,” she said. “I think a gay, black female Doctor Who would be best of all.”