The New Systems Commonwealth Wiki
A Rose in the Ashes


Production #


Original air date

November 27, 2000

Written by

Ethlie Ann Vare

Directed by

David Warry-Smith

Developed by

Robert Hewitt Wolfe


Sherry Gorval

Executive Producer

Allan Eastman
Majel Roddenberry
Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Josanne B. Lovick
Jay Firestone
Adam Haight

Production Designer

Sherry Gorval

Guest stars

Claudette Mink as Kae-Lee
Kimberley Warnat as Jessa
Bill Croft as Warden
John Juliani as Councillor Min
Janyse Jaud as Secretary
Ron Robinson as Xax
Randy Lee as Big Blue Alien
Al Kang as Prison Thug

Preceded by

The Banks of the Lethe

Followed by

All Great Neptune's Ocean

"The truest measure of a society is
how it treats its elderly, its pets,
and its prisoners."
Keeper of the Way Vision of Faith VII
C.Y. 9891

"A Rose in the Ashes" is episode 9 of Season 1.


The Regular Cast of Andromeda Season 1


Harper and Trance discuss the charter that Dylan is asking the various worlds to sign. In the course of the discussion, Harper asks Trance about her race and world, but she is evasive.

Dylan and Rommie are negotiating with the former Commonwealth planet Arazia. The Arazians, however, do not remember their association with the Commonwealth fondly, because of problems since the Fall. They charge Dylan and Rommie with sedition, and imprison them.

Beka and Tyr discuss what to do, since Andromeda has lost contact with Dylan and Rommie. Tyr wants to go in with guns blazing, but Beka postulates that they might just be in a state dinner. She calls Councilor Min's office, but gets a run-around. While they are discussing their options, Arazia fires missiles at the Andromeda, and they are forced to withdraw.

Dylan receives instructions for life in prison on the planet Helios IX from an android warden. He asks about how to file an appeal, but the warden takes this for an attempt at humor. Dylan is sent into the prison yard, where Kae-Lee, who seems to be the dominant prisoner, takes the disc he was given to use to obtain food. She says that he can "win" it back by fighting Xax, a large, furry alien. Dylan manages to outmaneuver Xax in the fight, which allows him to be accepted by Kae-lee and the other prisoners. This fight is watched on a monitor by a girl outside the prison.

After Rommie is brought into the prison yard in a cage, Kae-lee lets the "outsiders" into the compound for food. Rommie tells Dylan that she cannot access the Andromeda's computer, and cannot recharge her batteries, so after a few days, she will be useless.

Trance wants to go down to Arazia and rescue Dylan and Rommie. Andromeda, however, has intercepted a transmission indicating that Dylan and Rommie have been sent off-world.

Dylan learns from Kae-lee that she, and many of the other prisoners, are actually the children of former prisoners – there is no way off the planet for them. They are victims of the philosophy that criminal behavior is "hard-wired", or a genetic defect. In fact, Kae-lee believes it, although Dylan does not accept it.

Jessa, the girl who was watching Dylan's fight, proves to be an intelligent and self-sufficient woman. During an attack on the compound (with remote-controlled helicopters), she breaks Dylan and Rommie out.

Trance discusses her concerns with Andromeda. She has noted that some systems are not working exactly right. Andromeda admits that she is "distracted" because her avatar is missing.

Harper has tracked three ships that have left Arazia since they lost contact with Dylan and Rommie, and is able to deduce which of the three they must have been on.

Jessa feeds Dylan, but tells him that the planet has not been terraformed properly – the soil is too alkaline. The inmates control the only food source. She asks Dylan to help her fight the inmates. Dylan wants to help her leave the planet instead, but she shows him that the planet has an effective defense grid – there is no escape.

The warden has found parts of the helicopters, and confronts Kae-lee about the "illegal technology". He demands she help him stop it.

Andromeda goes to where Harper has tracked the ship, but there is no planet there, the true route was concealed. She and the crew search the database for worlds, finding 348 possibilities. Trance points at one, and since no one has any better suggestions, they decide to start with the one she picked.

Jessa starts to use some wine she made (which turned out to be acidic) and the alkaline soil to make a Voltaic battery to recharge Rommie. She tells Dylan that the prisoners are treated like animals, or "inventory".

A security force attacks Jessa's camp and captures her. With Jessa gone, Dylan tries to finish work on the battery, as Rommie's power is fading, but does not have much luck. Rommie urges Dylan to look out for himself, saying that the avatar is expendable, but Dylan is not.

The warden is interrogating Jessa. He claims that she could not have built the helicopters, because descendants of criminals could not be that intelligent.

Andromeda has arrived at the prison planet, which happens to be the one selected by Trance. She sends a message to Rommie that Beka and Tyr are coming down to the surface on the Eureka Maru. Rommie tries to warn them about the defense grid, but her batteries are too weak. The Maru comes under missile fire from the defense grid.

Dylan has figured out that Kae-lee and Jessa are sisters. He convinces Kae-lee to help him rescue Jessa. They get Xax to help them break into the building, but Xax is killed.

Rommie finishes the Voltaic battery and recharges herself.

Dylan and Kae-lee find Jessa and the warden. The warden knocks Dylan down and breaks Kae-lee's neck, but Rommie comes to the rescue, disabling the warden. Dylan disables the defense grid, allowing the Maru to land safely.

Kae-lee dies, realizing she had the potential for good in her after all.

Dylan invites Jessa to leave with him, but she decides to stay on the planet to look after the people there.

Dylan talks to Trance on the Obs deck. He introduces her to the coin-flipping game, and she guesses wrong. Trance claims that finding the right planet was just a lucky guess, but as Dylan leaves, she is flipping the coin, and guessing right every time.


  • Part of the opening quote comes from 3 quotes by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky.
    • “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
    • “You can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners.”
    • Another version is used in the Con Air teaser trailer.
  • The "Keeper of the Way's" opening statement is essentially a variation on the famous Mahatma Gandhi quote, "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."
  • This particular title would seem susceptible of any number of translations and inferences. It may be there are fairy-tale elements, given Dylan's "heroic rescuer" characteristics, of the rose in "Sleeping Beauty" or the character of Rose Red, both from the Brothers Grimm, whose original version of "Cinderella" is called "Ashputtel" in German. There could be the suggestion of hidden but unmistakeable qualities, as implied by Shakespeare's "a rose by any other name" quotation from "Romeo & Juliet", or even the return of hope to the prisoners, or the Systems Commonwealth to the galaxies, in a phoenix like "rose from the ashes" manner.

Memorable quotes[]

Tyr: Now can we blow them up?

Tyr: I can usually spot a planet. They're large. I have good eyes.

Harper: There have got to be hundreds of prison planets!
Andromeda: 348, to be exact.
Trance: Really...what about that one?
Beka: Why did you pick that one?
Trance: Well... it's pretty...
Tyr: It's pretty? Well, there's a solid reason for us to risk our lives!
Harper: Do you have a better idea?
Tyr: No.
Harper: Well, we got to start somewhere.
(Note that Trance picked the right planet)

Warden: The majority of prisoners benefit from the smooth and efficient operation of the system. You are disrupting it. Why can't I make you understand that?
Jessa: Poor communication skills?

Dylan: That's a million-to-one shot.
Trance: No, it was only one in 348.

(Dylan shuts down the defense grid in time to save the Maru)
Dylan: (over comm) Eureka Maru, you are clear to land.
Tyr: (realizing what happened) Dylan.
Beka: You know, I'm starting to like that guy.

DVD Release[]

A Rose in the Ashes was released on DVD in a variety of formats. For more information see:

DVD Release
Andromeda: Season 1 Volume Releases
Andromeda: Complete Season 1
Andromeda: Series 1 Volume Releases
Andromeda: Complete Series 1
Andromeda: The Slipstream Collection
Andromeda: The Complete Boxset