Dame Helen Mirren wants to play the Time Lord in 'Doctor Who'.

The Oscar-winning actress would love to appear as the twelfth incarnation of the time-travelling Doctor in the BBC One sci-fi series, but has ruled out replacing Karen Gillan - who was axed from the show last week - as his trusty companion.

I would like to play the new female Doctor Who. I don't want to just be his sidekick.

She is quoted by the Daily Star newspaper as saying: "I would like to play the new female Doctor Who. I don't want to just be his sidekick."

Since the show was created in 1963, the Doctor has regenerated into a new form every few series and while all of his embodiments have so far been men, it is theoretically possible he could regenerate as a woman.

Current Doctor Matt Smith has previously picked Helen, 65, as one of a number of stars he would love to see join him in the TARDIS for the series.

He said: "Helen Mirren would be great in 'Doctor Who', also Eric Cantona and Vincent Cassel - he would be number one actually.

"I would love Rowan Atkinson to be in 'Doctor Who', I think he'd be wonderful. I know Rowan did a Comic relief version and it was great, I think he's a fantastic actor, but I don't know if he'd do it."