I’m finally getting a chance to see the entire original Star Trek and have gotten up to the episode “Balance of Terror” (season 1, episode 8/14).
A few minutes into the episode, Spock gives a speech to the rest of the ship about the Earth-Romulan conflict of “over a century ago” (2166). He goes on to say that because they had used primitive atomic weapons and vessels with no visual communication screen, “no human Romulan, or ally had ever seen the other”, and that they can only assume Romulans are a war-like, cruel, and treacherous people. He also explains that the treaty that established the neutral-zone was conducted via sub-space radio.
Okay, I can accept that humans and Romulans had never seen each other in the more-than-100-years that they have known of the others’ existence, but what about Spock?
We know that Vulcans and Romulans are related, branching off from a common ancestor a while ago. So why does Spock not know anything about Romulans? It seems difficult to believe that Vulcans would have erased everything about Romulans from their history books.
I thought that maybe they had not yet established the link between Vulcans and Romulans at this point in the franchise, but Spock theorizes later in the episode that Romulans are realted to Vulcans. So why is Spock so surprised that Romulans look like Vulcans? How had he never seen at least a photo of a Romulan or read about them in history class?
Is there a mention in canon about Vulcans trying to bury the connection? Has it been retconned?