Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 5, Episode 3

Ensign Ro (5 Oct. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 661 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 5 critic

Captain Picard foils a plot against the Bajorians with his new Bajorian officer, Ensign Ro.



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Title: Ensign Ro (05 Oct 1991)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Marlowe ...
Keeve Falor
Gul Dolak
Jeff Hayenga ...
Orta (as Jeffrey Hayenga)
Harley Venton ...
Ensign Collins
Ken Thorley ...


An emergency call from Celerian 4, a colony near the Cardassian-Federation border, is followed by Orta's space-ship's claim to have destroyed it as part of his Bajorian race's struggle to reclaim their ancient civilization's independence from the Cardassians. Admiral Kennelly decides the Enterprise's mission to settle that dispute peacefully requires a Bajorian officer and therefore assigned, without consulting Picard, female Ensign Ro Laren, whom he had to release from jail first, to the whole crew's dismay. After receiving blankets, the Bajorian refugee camp leader Keeve Falor arranges a meeting with Orta. There Picard finds former refugee Ro Laren came with a secret Bajorian agenda himself, but she tells him it's not just hers, the admiral is behind it. Then two Cardassian ships appear and their commander Gul Dolak demands the Enterprise delivers to them the ship of the Bajorians which the Enterprise is resettling as terrorists; Picard deals with the dark plot... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

5 October 1991 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michelle Forbes appeared in the previous season's Star Trek: The Next Generation: Half a Life (1991). She was offered the role of Ro Laren because the producers were impressed by her performance in that episode. See more »


The top of Ensign Ro's uniform that she gives to the little girl turns from a pullover-type garment to a jacket. Also, Ro's com-badge goes from the jacket to her shirt without her moving it. See more »


[first lines]
Mr. Mot: There's a time when you want to call a Romulan's bluff and there's a time when you don't, wouldn't you say?
See more »


References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Data's Day (1991) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
See more »

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User Reviews

The Changing Face of Ensign Ro's Nose
9 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I first saw this episode I assumed these "Bajora" were going to be just another "Throw Away" Alien Race - One which we'd see once then never again.

I thought the same for another race of reptilian spoon-heads: The Cardassians. And I suppose if both races had not been joined cheek to jowl in this episode, we may have seen less of them if not never again. But in reality, it is not the relationship of Humans to Bajorans, or Humans to Cardassians that made great television tension, it was in fact this trinity, this Menage-a-Alien that had possibilities.

We only get a Glimpse of these possibilities in this one episode, to explore the full gamut there had to be a new Trek show created for it - Ala Deep Space Nine.

I suspected something was up when I saw "The Wounded" and a race of horribly dressed aliens with built in spoons in their skulls suddenly and magically appear in the Future History of Trek, complete with a War with the Federation that our own Miles Edward O'Brien had fought on Setlik 3. Suddenly there was an entire War History between the Federation and The Bloody Cardies.

But this is our first view of The Bajora, and Ensign Ro Laren is the very first Bajoran we ever get to see, although not the first time we get to see Michelle Forbes on The Next Generation as she was in the 4th season episode "Half a Life" and was given some great lines to speak there as well.

The Bajora were originally written as Pariah Vagabonds unwelcome in the Galaxy, living on resettlement camps in the Cardassian Sphere of Influence.

What we are shown in this story, is not intended to be any fully fleshed out History of The Bajora and it was not supposed to be a complete revelation of the Politics of the Cardassian Union. It is merely a glimpse of some goings on within that sphere and due to a new Treaty the Federation has with the Cardassian Union, the federation is now "invited" to "Help the Cardies" solve one of their little problems.

So as such, we get a great look at the way the Cardassians like to deal. They have their own laws and rules that they religiously adhere to, but their ethics are simply not above-board.

So when Ensign Ro is dumped into Picard's lap, the Admiral (Cliff Potts) who had been suckered by The Cardassians did not know what kind of explosive this was- because Picard's Ethics go beyond simply following Federation Rules, he weighs what is right and wrong.

And our Resident Bajoran Terrorist "Orta" (Jeff Hayenga) spells this out: "Things are not what they appear". Orta's group had apparently taken the credit for blowing up a Federation Colony. The only problem is, how could Orta's crappy ships even get to another star system without Warp Drive?

The thing to remember here is that only a small resettlement camp is shown, not the Planet of Bajor. And Ro's "Trunk" is much different than Kira Neres' - Ro has an inverted 3-point star formation pointing down from between her eyebrows toward a very small section of nose ridges. All through Season 5 of TNG through season 6 and finally the one episode of Season 7 where she appears, this "Star" becomes smaller and her nose ridges get larger, in the episode "Preemptive Strike" she looks like all of the other Bajorans on Deep Space Nine.

But if you really take a look at The Bajora as they are referred to here they are exactly the same as the Bajora(n)s which we meet in the first episodes of Deep Space Nine- Their values are the same, and their plight is the same, and they both want, and do not want help from the United Federation of Planets. And the UFP gets stuck in the middle of Bajor and Cardassia- As a kind of Referee. Originally Picard champions this cause, and he hands the responsibility off to "The Sisko" in "Emissary" and it takes us another 7 years to learn that it really wasn't Picard who picked The Sisko -It was The Bajoran Prophets.

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