- The Original Series (TOS)
- The Animated Series
- The Movies
- The Next Generation (TNG)
- Deep Space Nine (DS9)
- Voyager
- Enterprise

- TNG Season One
- TNG Season Two
- TNG Season Three
- TNG Season Four
- TNG Season Five
- TNG Season Six
- TNG Season Seven

Season Two:
-127: "The Child"
-135: "The Measure of a Man"
-136: "The Dauphin"
-139: "Time Squared"
-141: "Pen Pals"
-142: "Q Who"
-147: "Peak Performance"
-148: "Shades of Gray"

-Season 2 Rankings

- Doctor Who
- Sliders
- The Matrix

- Main Index
- Site Map

Peak Performance

(Star Trek - TNG episode production code 147)
  • written by David Kemper
  • directed by Robert Scheerer
  • music by Dennis McCarthy

Peak Performance

Summer, 1989. The acquisition of a satellite dish meant that I could finally tune in to this new Star Trek: The Next Generation show that had excited science fiction fans, and my first impressions all came from this episode, "Peak Performance". For that reason, I still have a bit of a soft spot for it.

Knowing that a battle was about to be simulated instinctively told me this must be a lighter episode, possibly less than true to the show's normal reality, but hindsight has shown that we actually get a good, fairly fully-formed dose of the regular characters in this one, plus some decent guest stars. Not all that bad a place for a novice to start watching...

The alien guest star Kolrami (Kohlrabi? - sounds like a vegetable root I know that makes a good soup) clicked in first for me, not surprising as his quirks are showcased while he makes his entrance. The actor (Roy Brocksmith) seems to have been somewhat typecast as disruptive bureaucrats at this time (see the feature Total Recall for another memorable outing), but he can give the caricature some extra alien embellishments here which make things a bit more fun.

Riker first began to stand out a bit when he challenged Kohlrabi to a game of stratagema, and explained what all that meant to Geordi. I began to like him at that point. He continued to do well while recruiting a team to help him face another uphill challenge.

Wesley gets to make a special contribution in this episode, without it stealing the show or the final fix, and Wil Wheaton gives an entertaining performance. Certainly nothing there to create the negative impression many other fans seem stuck on.

Keep your eyes peeled and you may also spot Glenn Morshower as security officer Burke, ready to take over Worf's duties while Worf is otherwise occupied. Morshower began getting small roles in dozens of feature films shortly afterward.

But the most memorable and enjoyable part of this episode has proven to be Dr. Pulaski becoming Data's main cheerleader and egging him on to knock the guest star down a peg. This plot strand has a very enjoyable payoff when all is said and done. And this good first impression of Pulaski soon became my enduring impression of her - no matter how hard she knocked against Data in the early episodes of the season when I finally got around to seeing those, I knew where the arc was heading, and I could easily stay on board with her journey.

The episode's final turns also feature an appearance by the Ferengi, and Armin Shimerman (later DS9's Quark) is on hand to provide the commanding performance. It still lands a bit more on the aggressive side, with all the usual Trekkian ship-to-ship posturing, rather than the financial/humorous side that the Ferengi later became better known for, but both sides are nicely present here. I do remember thinking that these aliens had a pretty weird spaceship design.

Captain Picard himself showed some strength and made a good, if understated, impression on me, but this particular story definitely seemed to be less about him, and more about the entire team. Perhaps that was a good indication of how this show would be different from its predecessor.

All in all, "Peak Performance" was a pretty good episode for first impressions. I definitely wanted to tune back in for more, and see how this crew handled more non-simulated challenges.

This Next Generation Season Two story is available on DVD and Blu-ray:

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season Two (1988-1989):

Includes 22 episodes @ 45 minutes each.
Click on the Amazon symbol for the desired disc format and location nearest you for more information:

DVD Canada

6-disc DVD set

DVD Canada


DVD Extras include:

  • Mission Overview (14 min.)
  • Selected Crew Analysis
  • Starfleet Archives
  • Departmental Briefing: Production (17 min.)
  • Departmental Briefing: Memorable Missions (16 min.)
Blu-ray U.S.

NEW for
Dec. 4, 2012.
Blu-ray Canada

NEW for
Dec. 4, 2012.
Blu-ray U.K.

NEW for
Dec. 10, 2012.
5-disc Blu-ray box set

Blu-ray features add:

  • 2 Audio Commentaries:
    • "The Measure of a Man" by writer Melinda Snodgrass and scenic/graphic artists Mike and Denise Okuda.
    • "Q Who" by director Rob Bowman, visual effects supervisor Dan Curry, and the Okudas.
  • TNG 25th Anniversary Cast Reunion (HD, 62 min.) with
    Patrick Stewart (Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Riker),
    LeVar Burton (Geordi), Michael Dorn (Worf),
    Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher), Marina Sirtis (Troi),
    Brent Spiner (Data), and Wil Wheaton (Wesley).
  • "Making It So: Continuing The Next Generation" (HD 2-part documentary, 81 min.)
  • Energized! Season Two Tech Update (HD, 8 min.)
  • Gag Reel (HD, 10 min.)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • "The Measure of a Man" HD extended version (57 min.) and hybrid version (56 min.)
  • Promos for each individual episode
  • plus, all featurettes from the DVD version.

Article & reviews written by Martin Izsak. Comments are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

Contact page


Read our next Star Trek review: "Shades of Gray"

Home Page Site Map Science Fiction Doctor Who Sliders The Matrix Star Trek Catalogue