I always knew there were a ton of great roles in British TV for female law enforcement agents and detectives, but I didn’t know until I started writing that article how many there truly were. Although that list points you to many of my favorite shows and characters, I thought I would further the article here with a couple of “bonus picks” for strong women detectives in British series:
Keeley Hawes as Lindsay Denton in “Line of Duty.”
Hawes is one of the best actresses working anywhere, and she did a fantastic job in this equally fantastic police procedural about an anti-corruption unit of cops. In my original article I discussed one of the main characters in the show, Vicky McClure as Kate Fleming, but I left out Hawes because she was really more of a guest star. If you watch this series you won’t forget her appearance any time soon: Was she an innocent victim of an organized crime hit gone wrong? Or was she in on the hit? Hawes and the show’s writers keep you guessing at every turn.
All of the women in “MI-5.”
“MI-5,” about agents in the UK’s domestic spy service, was a bit outside the purview of my original article. But if you’re looking for female role models in the law enforcement field, this show offered a plethora of choices: the mercurial but brilliant Ros (Hermione Norris); Fiona Carter (Olga Sosnovska*), married to a fellow officer but a brilliant MI-6 officer in her own right; Keeley Hawes, showing up in early seasons as Zoe Reynolds, one of the rising stars of the service; brilliant Connie James (Gemma Jones) and Tessa Phillips (Jenny Agutter), both hiding their own secrets; and Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker, another underappreciated Brit actress), always in the background providing the truly important information and never willing to be distracted from her job long enough to act on her love for Sir Harry Pearce, head of the counter-terrorism department. Among others! Just watch “MI-5,” all right?
So. Who are your picks for the strongest women detectives, spies, police officers, and all-around kick-ass types?
*Bonus points for Olga as Fiona, rocking an awesome short haircut and looking sexy while she did so. We may be in the twenty-first century here but I notice it’s still not real common for a woman to have short hair AND be thought attractive.