Admiral Buzzkill wrote:
It was far from clear at the time that "Amok Time" was written that Vulcans were "co-founders" of anything. We had never seen a Vulcan other than Spock and had no clear idea whether anyone else on the Enterprise had, either.
I know that's hard to imagine forty-odd years later, but Vulcans were rather mysterious and exotic (to use a somewhat politically incorrect but useful word) and little if anything had been said about any alien members of the Federation other than Vulcans. Sturgeon was an imaginative science fiction writer and he approached the Vulcans as if they were an alien species, rather than simply a national or ethnic grouping (the latter being the way Trek has chosen for the most part to treat alien life since) who lived on an isolated planet. He thought in sf terms, IOW, rather than TV.
Exactly. If you go back and watch the early episodes, Kirk and the crew tend to treat Spock as a very mysterious and exotic curiosity. One gets the impression that Spock is the first Vulcan most of them have ever met. "Tell me about the moons on your planet, Mister Spock." Etcetera.
And the idea that the Vulcans are secretive and reclusive never really went away. As late as The Search for Spock
, Kirk and the higher-ups at Starfleet are apparently unaware of that whole "katra" business . . . and seem somewhat skeptical about "Vulcan mysticism" in general.
Heck, in "Journey to Babel," McCoy doesn't know what a sehlat is either . . .