Star Trek: The Next Generation (1989) – Peak Performance, and Shades of Gray

Captain’s log: stardate 42923.4

Peak Performance, which aired on 10 July, 1989 was penned by David Kemper and is a very enjoyable episode that sees the Enterprise being assigned a round of war games overseen by master strategist the rather prideful Sirna Kolrami (Roy Brocksmith).

Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Riker (Jonathan Frakes) are paired against one another, with Picard staying in charge of the superior vessel, the Enterprise while his First Officer commands the Hathaway.

Picard agrees to the exercises as he realises that the Borg are coming and Starfleet needs to be prepared.

Riker seems to be intrigued by the idea and begins actively recruiting for his crew including La Forge (LeVar Burton), Worf (Michael Dorn) and Wesley (Wil Wheaton).

Kolrami is also an expert in a game called Strategema and Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) thinks that may be the venue to take the superior minded man down a notch or two, and pushes Data (Brent Spiner) into the competitive ring, with surprising results.

It’s fun seeing the Hathaway crew prep for the games, and watching both captains try to out think and outmanoeuvre one another is pretty cool as well.

There are some fun character moments, and story beats, we get the one and only glimpse of Worf doing some wood work, watching how the Hathaway crew take on the Enterprise is really quite enjoyable.

This would have been a great way to end the season, or if not great, it sure would have been a lot better than the episode that did close out, but of course the season finale was a problem because of the Writer’s Strike.

As a fun aside, Armin Shimerman plays another Ferengi captain.

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Captain’s log: stardate 42976.1

Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation came to a conclusion on 17 July, 1989 in this abysmal episode written by Maurice Hurley, Richard Manning and Hans Beimler, from a story by Hurley.

It is the first, and only Trek Clip Show. That should tell you how bad it is.

Riker, while on an Away Mission gets tagged by a plant, and as the poison begins to infect his body he slumps into a coma.

While Deanna (Marina Sirtis) and Pulaski try to figure out how to save the life of the ship’s First Officer, Riker is dreaming and recalling his memories on the Enterprise. This leads to the key to saving him, certain emotions attached to memories seem to combat the infection.

So of course they have to stimulate his recall, and we get all the clips from the past two seasons.

A very disappointing way to end a season that was beginning to show some real promise.

Next week, however, things really take off as we dive into the third season! The Human Adventure continues…

Riker_in_sickbay,_2365

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