I'm a total nerd, you guys. No, seriously, it's true! One of the great loves of my life has been science fiction and fantasy, and perhaps top of that list since my impressionable youth has been Star Trek. Since its inception Star Trek has painted a picture of humanity at its best: exploring the stars, seeking out new life and new civilizations. Despite wars with the Klingons and Romulans, humanity got to the future in pretty good shape: a near utopian single government society and Earth a member in a galactic congress and getting along pretty darn well, thank you very much.
It was a good week for Tottenham Hotspur. On the backs of a big FA Cup win against Colchester, Tottenham breezed into Carrow Road and took three points in a solid away win. Thanks to Arsenal Arsenaling, Spurs ended up in third place thanks to their outstanding (and it still feels weird saying that) goal differential.
So let's fire up our empathic abilities alongside huge Tottenham fan Marina Sirtis and have ourselves some good feels as we rank the Tottenham players to the theme of the Star Trek franchise.
5 Stars: Star Trek: The Next Generation
For dorks like me of (*cough*) a certain age, this was the show that cultivated a life-long love of Star Trek and of sci-fi in general. Its seven year run was marred by two terrible opening seasons, but it hit its stride in season three and never looked back. Detractors will knock TNG for its clunky effects, bad episodic plots, and over-reliance on technobabble and deus ex machinas, but what it had in spades were great characters and an even better cast. TNG was less about exploration (though there was plenty of that) and more about diplomacy, ideals, and politics, which was encapsulated by how different Picard was from Kirk. At its best, TNG was absolute must-watch sci-fi television, and I'd put episodes like Best of Both Worlds up there alongside any modern day cliffhanger.
Christian Eriksen (MOTM): A controversial choice for man of the match? Maybe. But Eriksen flat-out ran the offense against Norwich. His link-up play was stellar, and his creative passing was on full display. His initial shot was what led to Alli's rebound goal, and Kane's second was 100% the result of Eriksen's counter pressing. The only thing he didn't do was score. He was stellar.
Harry Kane: Kane probably should've had four goals on Tuesday. This match showed Kane at his all-around best: he was Kane the Scorer, devastating on the counter and hitting the woodwork twice, but also Kane the Creator, dropping deep or cutting out wide and passing in to open teammates. He was also Kane the Presser, and took advantage of some awful Norwich defense on a couple of occasions. Outstanding match.
Dele Alli: Alli was in the right place at the right time for his goal, but he also absolute abused Sebastian Bassong a number of times in that first half. He also had a great flick that set up Kane in the build-up to the penalty. The penalty itself seemed a tad soft, but he earned it. And he did it all in one half when he was sick. Amazing. Most importantly, the team was noticeably worse off when he was subbed off with fewer runs into the box from deep and a lot less of an edge to the attack.
Mousa Dembele: Moose, once again, was the primary reason why Spurs dominated central midfield. On a day where Dier had a bit of an off night, he stepped up and put in another outstanding performance. He was less a chance creator than a stable presence in midfield. A Modric-esque match for Moose.
4.5 Stars: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Picking TNG over DS9 was a tough decision for me. Although TNG had the better characters, DS9 had the better story arcs and writing, and a captain in Sisko that might have even kicked Kirk's ass. The setting on a solitary space station evoked old western shows set on a busting trade town where bad guys breezed in and out and the law was sometimes mutable. But the show really got going with the introduction of the Dominion and its long-term story arc. Episodes delved deep into complex issues with consequences that lasted past the end credits of that episode, and it got DARK. DS9 showed that you can make a compelling serial science fiction drama and still make it accessible to the casual sci-fi fan.
Kyle Walker: On another day, this might have been enough for a man of the match performance. Stellar going forward, and defensively aware enough to keep Olsson and Jarvis in his pocket for the whole of the match. This was Good Walker™. Right now, there's zero chance Kieran Trippier eclipses him as first choice right back (much less DeAndre Yedlin).
4 Stars: Star Trek (The Original Series)
I wasn't alive in the 1960s, but there's something to be said for the original Star Trek. It was fresh and original at the time, and set the standard for everything that followed. Though it only lasted three seasons it also gave us Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, and Uhura, all iconic characters. It being a Roddenberry show, it was full of social commentary and thumbed its nose at the social taboos of the time. It gave us television's first interracial kiss. It also spawned untold sci-fi tropes from Evil Spock and his goatee to Tribbles. It also had some notorious clunkers -- witness Spock's Brain, which might go down in history as one of the worst episodes in the entire Trek canon. The special effects are dumb, the sets are obviously styrofoam, and the "camera shake upon impact" leads to some hilariously blown cues. I love it.
Danny Rose: Tottenham directed the bulk of their attacks down the right side with Walker, which led Norwich to cheat inside, leaving acres of space on the left for Rose to operate in. Had a couple of excellent crosses into the box today, and coped well with Norwich's few counter-attacks, which is also good. Danny played very well, though obviously Norwich is far from a defensive powerhouse.
Hugo Lloris: Hugo was barely involved in the match during the first half, a testament to how good Spurs' defense was, but when he was called into action he was magnificent. Made a big stop on Odjidja, and did well deflecting the initial shot in Norwich's goal that was called back offside. Nothing to see here, just your average amazing match by one of the best GKs in the EPL.
3.5 Stars: Star Trek original movie run
Why include the movies here? Because we had too many categories, deal with it. If we were rating the movies individually, some of them would be much higher on this list, but this is taking them as a single unit. Movies like Wrath of Khan, Undiscovered Country, Voyage Home, and First Contact help counteract the terribad ones like Insurrection, Generations, and The Movie Which Shall Not Be Named. Overall, the original run movies are enjoyable, though the series are better.
Toby Alderweireld: Pretty solid overall in the back, and a nuisance in the box. Not as stalwart as we've come to expect, but he's also breaking in a new and inexperienced defensive partner. He and Wimmer need more matches together to iron out the kinks. Toby had a loose pass or two that led to some half-chances for Norwich and picked up a yellow card. Not a terrible match by any means, but not up to the high standard that Toby has set this season.
3 Stars: Star Trek reboot movies
There aren't a lot of data points here to go on here, so it's notable that the two rebooted movies are this low on the list. I actually quite enjoyed the rebooted first Star Trek and thought the parallel universe gambit was brilliant, but it's down here based on the absolute train wreck that was Into Darkness. Based on the early previews of Star Trek Beyond, I'm not overly optimistic that these will be climbing the rankings anytime soon.
Kevin Wimmer: He was fine. Fine! A couple of jitters here and there, some dumb fouls, but good positioning and put in some important tackles. Was fortunate not to concede a penalty after barging into a Norwich attacker. On balance, though, he was good. He's not Jan, but I didn't get the impression that Wimmer is going to actively hurt us.
Tom Carroll: Finally, we got to see Tom Carroll in the hole instead of farther back in the pivot. The team's attack improved the second he came on, though like Ben Daniels said on the podcast, I would've liked to see him come on for Dele Alli instead of for Son Heung-Min. Didn't do anything particularly extraordinary, but was perfectly cromulent in an attacking band with Nacer Chadli and Eriksen.
Son Heung-Min: Sonny looked lively at the beginning of the match. He was working hard, obeying pressing triggers, and finding his teammates. Should've scored on his near-post flick off the cross from Kane in the first half and his shot was a little wayward. Over time, Sonny trailed off, especially in the second half. On balance, he was good, but not great.
Eric Dier: Dier needs a f--king rest. That's it.
2 Stars: Star Trek: Voyager
Voyager had a good premise that harkened back to the original series and its five year mission: let's take a modern-era Starfleet ship and send it, Robinson Crusoe-style,out into the boonies. New aliens! New situations! And what happens? They find Neelix, a terrible enemy in the Kazon, and a hot Borg that makes 14-year old boys squirmy. But I'm mostly pissed at Voyager for making Harry Kim carry the whole ship's goddamn water the entire series and never giving him even a token promotion. If I were Kim, I'd have stolen a shuttlecraft and tried to find Eroticon Six.
Nacer Chadli: Did you know that Nacer Chadli is a perfect anagram for "Hi, cancer lad"? I don't know if his regression to pre-Palace form had more to do with not being particularly suited to playing with Son or what, but he was pretty bad in the second half, and I'm not sure it's entirely a coincidence that Tottenham's offensive efficacy took a nose-dive as soon as he came on for Dele Alli.
1 Star: Star Trek: Enterprise
We argued in the writer's room about how ST:E was the worst thing that ever happened to the Star Trek franchise. I argued that "Into Darkness" might be a contender, but Skipjack won the day when he said that "At least Into Darkness has things that go fast." Captain Quantum Leap and his dog can go suck it. That was a terrible show, and it got cancelled for a reason: prequels to already established major series almost never work, because they're locked into a continuity that limits their creativity. Enterprise kept trying to nod and wink at what we all knew was coming in the Kirk era and it just flopped. Making a show about the very first Enterprise was a good idea, but... no, it wasn't even really a good idea.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as Star Trek: Enterprise. And thank god for that.
Star Trek The Animated Series Non Rating: Erik Lamela
(I haven't seen it, you guys.)