47 – Peak Performance

Grade: C

Peak Performance (1989) on IMDb


The Federation has ordered Captain Picard to participate in a war games simulation. Riker will be in command of the 80 year-old starship Hathaway, and fighting against the Enterprise. Sirna Kolrami, a noted strategic genius and Federation Observer is also on the Enterprise.


OK, this is yet another episode where a genius we’ve never heard of before within the Star Trek canon suddenly appears for no other reason than to mix things up. And he’s also supposedly some kind of wizard in the game of Strategema (don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it – it never appears again in Star Trek). We’re supposed to be impressed by these facts simply because one of the characters tells another about them. Yeah. It’s in the script, so we’re just supposed to accept it. Not very impressive writing.

Kolrami is an arrogant character, and I’ve never liked him. The script is specifically written so that we won’t like him. But the character we really should be angry with is Dr. Pulaski. It was her idea in the first place to have a match between Data and Kolrami. But then, in one of the first episodes of the second season, Pulaski wanted to see how well Data would do against a holodeck simulation that would be designed to beat him. She’s just a trouble-maker.

In the middle of the war games simulation, the Ferengi just happen to show up and cause trouble. I’m not sure they were truly necessary to the story, but here they are anyway.

Speaking of this scene, by the way, it’s really stupid the way Kolrami tells Picard to leave the Hathaway (the 80 year-old ship commanded by Riker) and abandon the crew simply to save the Enterprise. The Enterprise is no match for the Ferengi ship only because the war games simulation has turned off the Enterprise’s real phasers and photons. So why didn’t they just discontinue the simulation and then defend themselves? The easy answer is because it’s in the script.

So in general, a decent episode, but not much better than that. The acting is OK, but the writing is still mediocre. And for an emotionless android, Data sure shows a lot of emotions here. Bottom line is you should skip this episode.

Of Note

One thing I noticed immediately is that Worf is able to create false images of non-existent ships, but that’s because he has the codes to the viewscreen for the Enterprise. He wouldn’t have the codes for the Ferengi ship, so how did he make false images show up? And if he could do this for other aliens, why has he never done this before? And why never again?