Zorn entered into negotiations with the United Federation of Planets for the use of Farpoint. Jean-Luc Picard, who represented the Federation, became suspicious of Zorn and the station itself. Zorn appeared nervous whenever any questions were asked about the station especially on how the Bandi were able to construct it so quickly. He threatened to offer the station to the Ferengi.
In reality, Zorn forced a shapeshifting spaceborne entity to take the form of a starbase. Zorn's acts were eventually discovered by the crew of the USS Enterprise-D when a second creature attacked the Bandi city and Zorn himself. Due to the intervention of the Enterprise, the entity stopped torturing Zorn. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")
Zorn was played by actor Michael Bell.
As evidenced by the first draft story outline of "Encounter at Farpoint", Zorn was originally named "Elzever".
The script for "Encounter at Farpoint" described Zorn as, "tall, skinny, rather grey-looking – appears to be sixtyish". Additionally, his introductory scene stated, "Riker entering, crossing to an elegant, unusually shaped desk where Zorn, the station Groppler (administrator) rises and (unused to handshaking) at first offers the wrong hand, then gets the procedure straightened out with mumbled apologies." 
Although Michael Bell – a long time friend of Director Corey Allen – originally read for the role of Q, Gene Roddenberry suggested to him that he read for the role of Zorn, which he ultimately got. In a 2010 interview, Bell recalled, "The role of Groppler was carefully etched – not patently evil, but certainly unprincipled where his general comfort was concerned, and not unlike many past and present politicians. I loved playing against that and Corey allowed the room to discover. However, even if the character was one-dimensional, I'd never have passed. Supporting actors, unlike major stars, do not have the luxury of picking and choosing."