Peak Performance

It is war-games a go-go when the Enterprise faces off against the Hathaway, a derelict ship commanded for the games by William T. Riker. Shooting, bobbing, weaving. It is all in good fun, until the Ferengi come in firing real weapons and demanding the Enterprise surrender the Hathaway. It may be time to abandon the Hathaway. Or maybe blow it up. Options are slim as we put Peak Performance in the Mission Log.

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  • Stephen McFadden

    Quick one about the view screen and sensors. It was mentioned that there should be cameras on the outside of the enterprise… That’s a sensor and the input of that device needs to be interpreted by the computer.

    I’m guessing they can project things onto the view screen, as we saw in TOS season 3’s presentation. So, if you trust the cameras, why can’t next green trust the sensors.

    Loved this episode.

  • Wildride

    So, wait — What exactly do you think optical cameras will do for a ship that spends most of its time traveling faster than light?!?

  • Joe Haffner

    This is one of my favorite episodes of TNG but there’s something that
    has bothered me since I first saw it. I think Picard and Riker should’ve
    the battle simulation more seriously in this episode.
    After all, it was to help Starfleet personnel aboard the Enterprise
    get ready for a possible battle with the Borg. It seems like Picard and
    Riker were very cavalier in their fighting each other in the simulation ’til the Ferenghi came onto the scene.

  • edharris1178

    I love this episode, it probably should have been the season finale. Gotta love Worf nonchalantly noting that an undefeated streak is worthless if nobody has challenged you.

  • CmdrR

    I always think of this ep when I screw up something — not that that actually happens. Picard’s advice to Data: It is possible to make no mistakes and still lose. That’s so on target compared to the useless aphorisms Data usually gets when he’s trying to be more human. I can see any person getting caught in a logical loop: “I made no mistakes, but I lost. I must have screwed up, but I didn’t, and yet I lost. He must have cheated, but he didn’t, but I didn’t make any f-ups, but I lost.” It really takes someone else to tell you it’s all right to mess up.

    • Life lessons from Trek always seem more memorable!

  • CmdrR

    Can’t wait to hit the “play” button on next week’s recap. That’s when it will buffer and the trt at the right will ultimately read out 01:47. Good luck with “Shades of Gray.”

  • Wildride

    Also of note: Worf used Enterprise “access codes” (which he has as tactical officer) to create the illusion of an incoming ship. Picard tells Data to change the access codes so that he can’t do it again. They think the Ferengi ships may be illusions, but they aren’t. OK, so how did Worf create the illusions on the Ferengi ship?!?

    Did I miss the part where Worf served, not only on a Ferengi vessel but, on that specific Ferengi vessel? So, are we to assume that maybe Worf could have created an illusion of a Ferengi ship, despite being locked out of the access he was using the first time? Or do Ferengi notoriously use password as their password? Perhaps President Skroob presets all their sensor access codes.

    • Robert Greffey

      Worf: Master Hacker!

      It’s good to know that if Jeff Goldblum isn’t around to hack an alien computer system with his MacBook, we can just call on the guy with the bumpy forehead.

    • Durakken

      Despite it not being stated ever there is no reason, given what we know today that there wouldn’t computer virus that can be accessed from the ship’s weapons controls, one of which would be accessing and changing ship codes.

      Though, ship codes seem to be nonsensical in the first place and are put in place by authoritarian governments to prevent ships from turning on them. Other than that they seem likely a highly flawed idea.

    • this may fall under the unlikely to be feasible but do-able because they said so gadget, like Gul Dukat’s holo emitter to pretend he was a Klingon, when he stole a Bird of Prey…sigh..thin excuse to be sure…

  • Daniel J. Margrave

    A couple of things that have always stuck with me. #1) Lt. Burke seems to be embarrassed that he’s with Wesley. I mean, “the boy, his name is ‘Wesley’.” And, I mean, who wouldn’t have been.
    The other thing was, why would Starfleet just leave this broken down ship in orbit of a planet in range of the Ferengi? I think it’s more likely it was towed there from a surplus depot or something. Parts of the episode are great, but parts of it, woof.
    Thanks for the laughs, though, enjoyed it very much! 🙂

  • Brian Parker

    Pleased to hear reference to Iain M Banks “The Player of Games” in relation to this Star Trek episode. Would love to hear you guys review the “Culture” novels.

  • Durakken

    … Looking out the window of a starship wouldn’t really work because it ships are like a kilometer away or more so to see ships you kinda have to use view screens. Also yes… the view screens are more CGI than cameras obviously. How do you think they could zoom in and out?

    As far as the talk about game ranks… ummm dude, thats how people talk about Chess, Go, and various other “high level” games that tend to have lots of strategy involved. It has nothing to do with video games as was proposed. The point of making those comments was to make reference to those games and bring you to the understanding that he is a “strategy” master which is what those games are thought to help improve in people.

    Also with regards to the Zackdorns… there is a kids movie with aliens that seem to have the same type of personality called “Home”.

    With regards to Crusher having anti-matter in his closet…It is possible that Crusher outranks the guard. Westley is an Ensign, an officer, which even though it is the lowest officer rank, it is not the lower rung on the totem. Non-coms, which I would assume most security is, would be lower ranked and subordinate to Crusher.

    The Data thing. It’s faulty logic to begin with. He is designed to learn. He is not perfect and we’ve already explored the concept that reading is not the same as experience so this set of events is memorable, but erroneous on multiple levels.

    • Arvis Jaggamar

      That “guard” with Wesley is a bridge officer though. Definitely outranks him.

      • Durakken

        Of course that raises the question why a “bridge” officer is doing such a mundane task. His station is the weapons station. It has been a while since i’ve seen the episode so I’m not certain, but are you sure he was at the tactical station and not some place else? Just on memory, there should be something like 4-6 security on the bridge, 2 at each door.

        Also, even if he was at the station given that he left that station you could argue that non-coms get trained on bridge consoles too and this was a training period for that security guard.

        Even though you didn’t point it out as most people wouldn’t. He likely didn’t wear the non-com insignia pips. O’Brian doesn’t either even though we know he is a non-com. We also see that Westley doesn’t wear the provisional insignia either.

        I’m not saying he wasn’t an officer, just that there are all these other possibilities that given circumstances and such seem much more likely overall…but who knows the other officers are always leaving their stations for fun it seems.

        • TNG was always terrible about enlisted ranks and establishing recurring 3rd tier characters. I think it had to do w paying actors. Bummer. No pins for enlisted ranks untill they went to DS9 Chief O Brien. Big oversight. Remember the sorta asian male nurse? The asian security guy in S2. All mute. Bummer.

  • Just found this podcast. Have randomly been Netflixing TNG and now I have this to be my companion at work!!!! Thanks!!!

    • Arvis Jaggamar

      It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Watching TNG on my Thursday lunch breaks is now a weekly tradition thanks to The Mission Log.

      • Yup. Really enjoying finding fellow Trek fans and reviewing episodes that were such a big part of my life 25 years ago. WoW.

    • Thanks for joining us!

    • Kristian Marie Kbot McKee

      Yay more peoples! !!!!!

  • Peak Performance was one of my favorites because I missed recording it on VHS and eluded me for 2-3 years becoming a “lost episode”. WoW those were the days. VHS on EP mode a 6 hr tape could fit 8 episodes. No commercials just intro and ending credits. I had it down to a science w only 3-4 minutes of extra tape at end. BooM.

    • Endocrom .

      Ah, a kindred spirit! How silly I/we must feel in this age of digital distribution.

      • Indeed. No “missing episodes” as much w DVR, Netflix, Hulu etc… See you on “The Enemy” ! S3! My fave

  • Really a shame the Zakdorn were never used again. To fight the Borg or the Dominion, they should have at least been alluded too!! My biggest gripe w Star Trek TNG is the lack of follow up on some very intriguing characters and planets. “The Bonding” Jeremy Aster, “The Hunted” Roga Danar, the Zakdorn, they Bynars….sigh

    • Wildride

      There was a Zakdorn running the scrapyard in Unification. Apparently they do strategy and bureaucracy.

  • Just rewatched Peak Performance. Another nice touch was Data’s tactical eval of Riker mentioning his knowledge of hiding within planetary polar areas to avoid detection. Demonstrated next season in “The Hunted”!

  • Sirna Kolrami, Roy Brocksmith RIP 2001

  • Ensign Burke/ Glenn Morshower

  • Low Mileage Pit Woofie

    Data’s reasoning when confronted by failure was flawed, not him. If Data’s right arm had a maximum lifting capacity of 200 kg, and he was confronted with a 201 kg weight and found her couldn’t lift it, it didn’t mean his arm was malfunctioning, just that it had reached its design capacity. And thus, he would compensate by lifting with both hands. Likewise, as he learned he could not win at Stratagema against Kolrami, he compensated by playing towards a draw,

  • Low Mileage Pit Woofie

    Instead of risking the lives of everyone on both ships with that maneuver, Picard had another option: tell the truth to the Ferengi, that they were using an antiquated vessel for training, nothing more. It’s not an unreasonable explanation, it’s not revealing any military secrets, and is in keeping with an open door policy for the Federation. Even show the Ferengi around the Hathaway, let them see for themselves? Just arm your crew and keep an eye on the visitors.