What do you guys think? Do you reckon the TNG writers room misunderstood these races as they were portrayed in TOS? Was Moore pehaps wrong to have swapped their attributes? Or do you think it was maybe a good thing, to show these races in a different light than TOS portrayed them?
Great topic! It's hard to know if the writers misunderstood the races as TOS depicted them. Any civilization can change significantly over a period of nearly one hundred years, so any changes in the behavior of either race could easily be explained by the passage of time and whatever events affected them in the interim.
As one who tends to prefer the Romulans as they appeared in TOS, I don't necessarily mind their transformation prior to TNG. Both TV series are written from the perspective of humanity. It's not surprising that the Klingons would be cast in a more favorable light, especially with Worf serving on the Enterprise
. Had Roddenberry decided to use a Romulan character, it's possible no changes would have happened.
At any rate, the Romulans' duplicitous nature gives me that much more of an appreciation for the members of their society who don't behave that way, just as the Klingons' insistence on honor and integrity causes me to look down on those who don't practice what they preach. The problems caused by the Duras family represent Klingon culture at its worst, but I wonder whose behavior I find more objectionable: Duras for blaming Worf's family for his father's crime, or the High Council for allowing it in the first place.