First of all, Helen Mirren is a terrific actress, and, being a British woman, she captures Elizabeth's way of speaking and carrying herself perfectly. She is such a powerful woman to watch in this series...she embodies Elizabeth's personality to a T - just as we've read and researched about her - She has the Tudor temper, and the sweet, caring side to her. Mirren can quickly jump from one to the other in a beautiful, theatrical way, that I don't think can be matched by another Elizabeth actress.
(I must say, I am also a huge fan of Cate Blanchett's performances as Elizabeth, but Mirren gives her a run for her money).
Another bonus: Hugh Dancy (from "Ella Enchanted") plays the Earl of Essex - he is also not too hard on the eyes. ;)
If anyone has seen this series, please share your thoughts about it. I will definitely be blogging more about it as I watch it!