Here we are - not in any order. Note that these are kick-ass characters with good jobs and complex, flawed, personalities. I just wish there were more of them.
Dr Grace Foley, criminal psychologist in 'Waking the Dead' (Sue Johnstone)
Det. Supt. Jane Tennison, chief investigator in 'Prime Suspect' (Helen Mirren)
Detective Claudette Wyms, in 'The Shield' (CCH Pounder) I'd also pick Captain Monica Rawling (Glenn Close) from the same show
DS Jackie Reid, in 'Taggart' (Blythe Duff)
Dr. Mary Albright, anthropolgy lecturer, in '3rd rock from the sun' (Jane Curtin) NB later becomes Dean of her University
Honourable mention to Sybil Fawlty, hotel proprietor, played by Prunella Scales.
Any other suggestions? They are good roles aren't they though.