Avatar

The epic science fiction film Avatar premiered in London on 10 December 2009. The film was directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron and stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver.

It is set in the year 2154, where humans have depleted Earth’s natural resources To such an extent that it has led to a severe energy crisis. Then on a mission to space The Resources Development Administration (RDA) discover a valuable mineral Called unobtanium – a room temperature superconducter on a densely forested habitable moon named Pandora which is orbiting the gas giant Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri star system and is inhabited by the Na’vi, 10-foot tall (3.0 m), blue-skinned, sapient humanoids who live in harmony with nature and worship a mother goddess called Eywa.

However the atmosphere of Pandora Is toxic to humans, so To explore Pandora’s biosphere, scientists use Na’vi-human hybrids called “avatars”, genetically engineered Na’vi bodies with the mind of a remotely located and genetically matched human which are used to interact with the natives of Pandora. Jake Sully, a paraplegic former Marine, replaces his deceased identical twin brother as an operator of one of the Avatars. Colonel Miles Quaritch, head of RDA’s private security force, wants Jake to secretly gather information about the Na’vi and the clan’s gathering place, a giant tree called Hometree. So Jake joins Dr. Grace Augustine, head of the Avatar Program, and fellow scientist Dr. Norm Spellman as they collect biological data. Unfortunately Jake becomes separated in the hostile jungle, Luckily though he is rescued by Neytiri, a female Na’vi. Who after Witnessing an auspicious sign, takes him to her clan, whereupon Neytiri’s mother Mo’at, the clan’s spiritual leader, orders her daughter to initiate Jake into their society. They discover that Hometree stands on grounds containing the richest deposit of unobtanium in the area.  Gradually Jake grows to sympathize with the natives and Jake changes his allegiance.

Sadly The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of the Na’vi and things come to a head when Selfridge orders Hometree destroyed. Despite Grace’s argument that destroying Hometree could damage the biological neural network native to Pandora, Selfridge gives Jake and Grace one hour to convince the Na’vi to evacuate before commencing the attack. Felling betrayed By Jake, the Na’vi, take Jake and Grace captive. Home tree is destroyed, killing Neytiri’s father (the clan chief) and many others. Mo’at frees Jake and Grace and asks for help. However they are imprisoned by Quaritch’s forces. However Pilot Trudy Chacón, disgusted by Quaritch’s brutality Intervenes

Faced with an uphill struggle to regain the Na’vi’s trust, Jake resorts to desperate measures by taming a fierce dragon-like predator which is both feared and honored by the Na’vi. Jake finds the refugees at the sacred Tree of Souls and Supported by the new chief Tsu’tey, who acts as Jake’s translator, Jake unites the clans and shows them how to battle against the Resources Development Association and fairly soon all hell breaks loose as the Na’avi try to regain control of Pandora and evict the human invaders.

Karen Gillan

Best known for her portrayal of Amy Pond in Doctor Who, Nebula and Ruby Roundhouse, the Scottish actress and, former model, Karen Sheila Gillan was born 28 November 1987. She learned to play the piano when she was seven & developed a love for acting, joining several local youth theatre groups and taking part in a wide range of productions at her school,Charleston Academy. When she turned 16, Gillan moved to Edinburgh and completed an HNC Acting and Performance course at Telford College She then moved to London at 18 to study at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts drama school in the BA (Hons) Acting degree course. While studying at Italia Conti Gillan was scouted by a modelling agency. Gillan worked as a model in 2007’s London Fashion Week for designer Allegra Hicks’ autumn/winter catwalk show and the launch party of Nicola Roberts’ Dainty Doll Make-Up Range. Gillan has said she would not give up her acting career to return to modelling. She stated that she enjoyed modelling but acting was always her main interest and goal.

Gillan’s early television acting career included guest appearances on several drama series, she also appeared on The Kevin Bishop Show portraying multiple characters, as well as celebrities such as Katy Perry and Angelina Jolie. She appeared in Channel 4’s Stacked and the BBC2 Horror series The Well, which was later broadcast as a web series on BBC.co.uk. She was then cast for the role of the Eleventh Doctor’s first companion, Amy Pond, on the British sci-fi series Doctor Who in May 2009. She made her first on-screen appearance as Amy Pond in “The Eleventh Hour” with her cousin Caitlin Blackwood portraying a young Amelia (Amy) Pond. Gillan also appeared in the “The Fires of Pompeii” in the role of a Soothsayer.

Gillan also made her first theatre appearance playing the role of Shirley in John Osborne’s play Inadmissible Evidence along with Douglas Hodge The play debuted at the Donmar Warehouse on 16 October 2011. She appeared in the seventh series of Doctor Who until leaving in 2012 .On 26 January 2012, Karen Gillan played the part of supermodel Jean Shrimpton in the BBC Four film We’ll Take Manhattan, which told the story of Shrimpton’s relationship with the photographer David Bailey. Gillan also starred in a Scottish rom-com called Not Another Happy Ending alongside Emun Elliott. Which was directed by John McKay and a supernatural horror pic called Oculus cast in the lead role and filmed in Alabama. She revealed that she has been cast in comedian Charlie Brooker’s TV series A Touch of Cloth. Gillan has also been cast in a film titled ‘ The List ‘ which began filming in Los Angeles in May 2013. Gillan also appears as Ruby Roundhouse in the latest Jumanji film.

FHM magazine ranked Gillan #42 in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women 2011 In 2012 they also ranked her #36. Gillan has also voiced advertisements for eHarmony and The Royal Bank of Scotland. Gillan portrayed Nebula in the superhero science fiction film Guardians of the Galaxy. She also joined the regular cast of Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV:: for the show’s third season in 2013 and in 2011, She helped promote Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) and the opening of Squirrel Ward in Great Ormond Street Hospital

Doctor Who

The first episode of British science-fiction television programme Doctor Who entitled “An Unearthly Child” was broadcast 23 November 1963. Doctor Who depicts the exciting and often dangerous adventures of a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey—a time-travelling humanoid/alien known as the Doctor. He explores the universe in a time-travelling spaceship called TARDIS (acronym: Time and Relative Dimension in Space), a sentient time-travelling space ship which is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, which he “borrowed” from The Time Lords. Its exterior is supposed to change to match the surroundings however it got damaged and now appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Along with a succession of companions, the Doctor faced a veritable rogues gallery of villainous foes, including The Master, Omega, Sutekh, Rassilon, The Valeyard, The Autons, Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarens, Silurians, Ice Warriors, Sea Devils And Zygons

During its original run, it was recognised for its imaginative stories, creative low-budget special effects, and pioneering use of electronic music (originally produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop). The show is a significant part of British popular culture; and has become a cult favourite, influencing generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series. The programme originally ran from 1963 to 1989 and featured William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy as various regenerations of the Doctor

There are also two Doctor Who feature films featuring Peter Cushing: Doctor. Who and the Daleks, released in 1965 and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. in 1966. Both are retellings of existing television stories (specifically, the first two Dalek serials, The Daleks and The Dalek Invasion of Earth respectively) with a larger budget and alterations to the series concept. The Cushing version of the character reappears in both comic strips and a short story, the latter attempting to reconcile the film continuity with that of the series.

Sadly The programme was cancelled in 1989 following the Sylvester McCoy episode Survival, which featured Sophie aldred as Ace and Anthony Ainley as The Master. However A number of films were proposed to revive the original Doctor Who including many attempted television movies and big screen productions before a television movie starring Paul McGann as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor Was finally made. After the film, he continued the role in audio books and was confirmed as the eighth incarnation through flashback footage and a mini episode effectively linking the two series and the television movie. John Hurt also played The War Doctor in an episode with David Tennant and Matt Smith, linking events between McGann and Christopher Ecclestone retrospectively.

The programme was relaunched in 2005 by Russell T Davies who was head writer for five years. From 1989 it was produced by BBC Wales in Cardiff. Series 1 in the 21st century, featuring Christopher Eccleston as the ninth incarnation, was produced by the BBC. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), co-producer series 2 & 3. Doctor Who also spawned spin-offs including Torchwood (2006–11) and The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007–11), both created by Russell T Davies; K-9 (2009–10), the four-part video series P.R.O.B.E. (1994–96), and a single pilot episode of K-9 and Company (1981).

Actors who have portrayed the Doctor include William Hartnell, Peter Cushing, Patrick Troughton, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Richard E.Grant, Paul McGann, John Hurt, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker. The transition from one actor to another is written into the plot of the show as regeneration, a life process of Time Lords through which the character of the Doctor takes on a new body and, to some extent, new personality, which occurs after sustaining injury which would be fatal to most other species. Although each portrayal of the Doctor is different, and on occasions the various incarnations have even met one another, they are all meant to be aspects of the same character. The new series of Doctor Who launches in 2018 and features Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor alongside Bradley Walsh as Malcolm, with a Doctor Who Christmas Special being broadcast Christmas 2017.

The show has received recognition as one of Britain’s finest television programmes, winning the 2006 British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series and five consecutive (2005–2010) awards at the National Television Awards during Russell T Davies’s tenure as executive producer. In 2011, Matt Smith became the first Doctor to be nominated for a BAFTA Television Award for Best Actor. In 2013, the Peabody Awards honoured Doctor Who with an Institutional Peabody “for evolving with technology and the times like nothing else in the known television universe”. The programme is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world and as the “most successful” science fiction series of all time. Unearthly Child wasn’t the only episode broadcast 23 November either. A number of other Doctor Who stories have also been broadcast on that date to mark the anniversary, including Dragonfire, Silver Nemesis and The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.

Boris Karloff

Best remembered for his portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939) Plus his roles in many Other horror films, The Prolific English actor Boris Karloff (William Henry Pratt) was born 23 November 1887. Karloff grew up in Enfield & attended Enfield Grammar School before moving to Uppingham School and Merchant Taylors’ School, and King’s College London where he studied to go into the consular service. He dropped out in 1909 and worked as a farm labourer and did various odd jobs until he happened into acting. His brother, Sir John Thomas Pratt, became a distinguished British diplomat. Karloff was bow-legged, had a lisp, and stuttered as a young boy.

He conquered his stutter, but not his lisp, which was noticeable all through his career. In 1909, Pratt travelled to Canada and began appearing in stage shows throughout the country; and some time later changed his professional name to “Boris Karloff”. Some have theorized that he took the stage name from a mad scientist character in the novel The Drums of Jeopardy called “Boris Karlov”. Karloff joined the Jeanne Russell Company in 1911 and performed in towns like Kamloops, British Columbia and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. After the devastating Regina, Saskatchewan, cyclone of 30 June 1912, Karloff and other performers helped with cleanup efforts. He later took a job as a railway baggage handler and joined the Harry St. Clair Co. that performed in Minot, North Dakota. Once Karloff arrived in Hollywood in 1918, he made dozens of silent films, such as The Masked Rider (1919), The Hope Diamond Mystery (1920), King of the Wild (1930) and The Criminal Code (1931), a prison drama in which he reprised a dramatic part he had played on stage. Another significant role was an unethical newspaper reporter in Five Star Final, a harshly critical film about tabloid journalism which was nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture of 1931-32. However it was His role as the Frankenstein monster in Frankenstein (1931) which made Karloff a star. A year later, Karloff played another iconic character, Imhotep in The Mummy. The Old Dark House (with Charles Laughton) and the starring role in The Mask of Fu Manchu quickly followed. These films all confirmed Karloff’s new-found stardom and In 1933, he went back to Britain to make The Ghoul.

Karloff appeared in other films besides horror, including the 1932 film Scarface and the 1934 John Ford epic The Lost Patrol. He also starred as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). Nevertheless, horror remained Karloff’s primary genre, and he appeared in many 1930s Universal horror films, including several with Bela Lugosi, his main rival as heir to Lon Chaney, Sr.’s status as the top horror film star. After earning fame in Frankenstein, Karloff appeared as the Frankenstein monster in two other films, The Bride Of Frankenstein in 1935 and The Son Of Frankenstein in 1939, with the latter also featuring Lugosi. Karloff also starred as the villainous Dr. Niemann in House of Frankenstein (1944). Karloff returned to the role of the “mad scientist” in 1958′s Frankenstein 1970, as Baron Victor von Frankenstein II, the grandson of the original inventor. The long, creative partnership between Karloff and Lugosi produced some of the actors’ most revered and enduring productions, including The Black Cat, Gift of Gab, The Raven, The Invisible Ray, Black Friday, You’ll Find Out, The Body Snatcher, Tower of London, Isle Of The Dead and Bedlam.

In 1941 He returned to the Broadway stage in the original production of Arsenic and Old Lace and also appeared as Captain Hook in the play Peter Pan with Jean Arthur. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his work opposite Julie Harris in The Lark, by the French playwright Jean Anouilh about Joan of Arc, which was also reprised on Hallmark Hall of Fame. In later years. Karloff appeared in a number of television series, including, Out Of This World, and The Veil & the British TV in the series Colonel March of Scotland Yard. He also appeared in The Comedy of Terrors, The Raven, and The Terror, the latter two directed by Roger Corman, and Die, Monster, Die! He also featured in Michael Reeves’s second feature film, The Sorcerers, in 1966. Karloff also guest starred along with horror actor Vincent Price in a parody of Frankenstein, with Red Skelton as the monster “Klem Kadiddle Monster.”

In 1966, Karloff also appeared with Robert Vaughn and Stefanie Powers in the spy series The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. That same year he also played an Indian Maharajah on the instalment of the adventure series The Wild Wild West titled “The Night of the Golden Cobra.” In 1967, he played an eccentric Spanish professor who believes himself to be Don Quixote in a whimsical episode of I Spy. In 1968, Karloff starred in Targets, a film directed by Peter Bogdanovich about a young man who embarks on a killing spree. The film starred Karloff as retired horror film actor, Byron Orlok, a thinly disguised version of Karloff himself. It was his last film shot in the United States.In 1968 he played occult expert Prof. Marsh in a British film called The Crimson Cult (Curse of the Crimson Altar), which was the last film to be released during Karloff’s lifetime. Karloff’s final appearances were in: The Snake People, The Incredible Invasion, The Fear Chamber, House of Evil and Cauldron of Blood, in 1967 alongside Viveca Lindfors. 

Boris Karloff lived out his final years in England at his cottage, ‘Roundabout,’ in the Hampshire village of Bramshott. Sadly After a long battle with arthritis and emphysema, he contracted pneumonia, succumbing to it in King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, Sussex on 2 February 1969. He was cremated, following a low-key service, at Guildford Crematorium, Godalming, Surrey, And is commemorated by a plaque in the Garden of Remembrance. A memorial service was held at St Paul’s, Covent Garden (the Actors’ Church), London, where there is also a plaque. However, even death could not put an immediate halt to Karloff’s media career. Four Mexican films for which Karloff shot his scenes in Los Angeles were released over a two-year period after he had died. Karloff also lent his name and likeness to a comic book for Gold Key Comics based upon the series. After Thriller was cancelled, the comic was retitled Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery. An illustrated likeness of Karloff continued to introduce each issue of this publication for nearly a decade after the real Karloff died; the comic lasted until the early 1980s. Starting in 2009, Dark Horse Comics started to reprint Tales of Mystery in a hard bound archive.

Aldous Huxley

English writer Aldous Huxley sadly passed away on 22nd November 1963. Born 26 July 1894 in Godalming, Surrey, England, he is Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. He began his learning in his father’s well-equipped botanical laboratory, then continued in a school named Hillside. His teacher was his mother, who supervised him for several years until she became terminally ill. After Hillside, he was educated at Eton College. In 1911, he suffered an illness (keratitis punctata) which “left him practically blind for two to three years”. This disqualified him from service in the First World War. Once his eyesight recovered sufficiently, he was able to study English literature at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1916 he edited Oxford Poetry and later graduated (B.A.) with first class honours. Following his education at Balliol, Huxley earnt a living teaching French at Eton, where Eric Blair (later to become George Orwell) and Stephen Runciman were among his pupils. Huxley also worked at the technologically advanced Brunner and Mond chemical plant in Billingham, Teesside, and the most recent introduction to his famous science fiction novel Brave New World (1932) states that this experience of “an ordered universe in a world of planless incoherence” was one source for the novel

During the First World War, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor, working as a farm labourer. Here he met several Bloomsbury figures including Bertrand Russell and Clive Bell. Works of this period included important novels on the dehumanising aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, and on pacifist themes (for example, Eyeless in Gaza). In Brave New World Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza.Huxley began to write and edit non-fiction works on pacifist issues and was an active member of the Peace Pledge Union.In 1937, Huxley moved to Hollywood & lived in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. He also moved to Taos, New Mexico for a time, where he wrote Ends and Means.

He was also introduced to Vedanta (Upanishad-centered philosophy), meditation, and vegetarianism through the principle of ahimsa. In 1938 Huxley befriended J. Krishnamurti, whose teachings he greatly admired. He also became a Vedantist in the circle of Hindu Swami Prabhavananda, and introduced Christopher Isherwood to this circle. Not long after, Huxley wrote his book on widely held spiritual values and ideas, The Perennial Philosophy, which discussed the teachings of renowned mystics of the world & affirmed a sensibility that insists there are realities beyond the generally accepted “five senses” and that there is genuine meaning for humans beyond both sensual satisfactions and sentimentalities.

Huxley also worked as a scriptwriter. In March 1938, his friend Anita Loos, a novelist and screenwriter, put him in touch with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who hired Huxley for Madame Curie which was originally to star Greta Garbo and be directed by George Cukor. (The film was eventually completed by MGM in 1943 with a different director and cast.) Huxley received screen credit for Pride and Prejudice (1940) and a number of other films, including Jane Eyre (1944). Huxley was also apprehensive about the future the developed world might make for itself. From these he put forward some warnings in his writings and talks. In a 1958 televised interview Huxley outlined several major concerns: the difficulties and dangers of world overpopulation; the tendency toward distinctly hierarchical social organization; the crucial importance of evaluating the use of technology in mass societies susceptible to wily persuasion; the tendency to promote modern politicians, to a naive public, as well-marketed commodities. He also wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating him on “how fine and how profoundly important the book is”.

During the 1950s, Huxley’s interest in the field of psychical research grew and his later works are strongly influenced by both mysticism and his experiences with psychedelic drugs, Allegedly English occultist Aleister Crowley introduced Huxley to peyote & psychiatrist Humphry Osmond introduced him to mescaline (the key active ingredient of peyote) & through Dr. Osmond, Huxley also met millionaire Alfred Matthew Hubbard and became a pioneer of self-directed psychedelic drug use “in a search for enlightenment”. His psychedelic drug experiences are described in the essays The Doors of Perception (the title deriving from some lines in the book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake). Beginning in 1939 and continuing until his death in 1963, Huxley also had an extensive association with the Vedanta Society of Southern California, founded and headed by Swami Prabhavananda. Together with Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood, and other followers he was initiated by the Swami and was taught meditation and spiritual practices.

Huxley was also interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism and by the end of his life Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time and respected as an important researcher into visual communication and sight-related theories as well as advocating and taking psychedelics. Sadly Huxley passed away aged 69, on 22 November 1963, several hours after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Huxley’s ashes were interred in the family grave at the Watts Cemetery, home of the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton, a village near Guildford, Surrey, England. Media coverage of Huxley’s passing was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the death of British author C. S. Lewis, who also both died on 22 November. This coincidence was the inspiration for Peter Kreeft’s book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley. Huxley’s literary legacy continues to be represented by the literary agency headed by Georges Borchardt.

The War of the Worlds

I am currently watching the BBC three part version of H.G.Wells The War of The Worlds which began 17 November. Based on H.G.Wells 1898 novel It takes place in 1905 (ten years after the original novel) and stars Rafe Spall as George, Eleanor Tomlinson as Amy and Robert Carlyle as Ogilvy

It begins when a group of Astronomers including Ogilvy from an Astronomical Observatory in Ottershaw and a journalist named George, notice a number of strange explosions on the planet Mars. Meanwhile everybody including George, his wife Amy and his Politician Brother, who works for the Admiralty in London, carry on with their everyday lives, blissfully unaware.

Then a few months later a mysterious Elongated meteorite lands in nearby Horsell Common. At first their is great excitement as George, Ogilvy and many otherAstronomers From the observatory in Ottershaw investigate the fallen asteroid on Horsell Common and speculate whether there may be Technologically superior and super-intelligent Martians inside. Upon further examination of the impact crater and the asteroid they discover that it is in fact artificial, hollow and made of metal and what’s more there is something moving about inside.

Excitement soon turns to terror when the asteroid suddenly begins unscrewing, And opens To reveal a mysterious sphere which systematically incinerates  all onlookers with a heat ray. Soon the Army are called in however they too find themselves powerless against the heat ray. Then a gigantic tripod rises up from inside the metal cylinder in the Crater and wreaks widespread destruction around Woking  using a heat ray and spreading noxious clouds of poisonous black smoke, killing thousands of people. Suddenly plunging people’s Lives into chaos So George tells Amy to flee The carnage and head for his Brothers house in London and safety. Then news is received concerning a second asteroid which has landed in Byfleet and has cut off the route to London….

Alan Dean Foster

Prolific American fantasy and science fiction novelist Alan Dean Foster was born November 18, 1946. He is known for his science fiction novels set in the Humanx Commonwealth, an interstellar ethical/political union of species including humankind and the insectoid Thranx. Many of these novels feature Philip Lynx (“Flinx”), an empathic young man who has found himself involved in something which threatens the survival of the Galaxy. Flinx’s constant companion since childhood is a minidrag named Pip, a flying, empathic snake capable of spitting a highly corrosive and violently neurotoxic venom.

One of Foster’s better-known fantasy works is the Spellsinger series, in which a young musician is summoned into a world populated by talking creatures where his music allows him to do real magic whose effects depends on the lyrics of the popular songs he sings (although with somewhat unpredictable results).

Many of Foster’s works have a strong ecological element to them, often with an environmental twist. Often the villains in his stories experience their downfall because of a lack of respect for other alien species or seemingly innocuous bits of their surroundings. This can be seen in such works as Midworld, about a semi-sentient planet that is essentially one large rainforest, and Cachalot, set on an ocean world populated by sentient cetaceans. Foster usually devotes a large part of his novels to descriptions of the strange environments of alien worlds and the coexistence of their flora and fauna. Perhaps the most extreme example of this is Sentenced to Prism, in which the protagonist finds himself trapped on a world where life is based on silicon rather than carbon, as on Earth.

Foster was the ghostwriter of the original novelization of Star Wars which had been credited solely to George Lucas. After two other writers had declined his offer of a flat fee of $5,000 for the work, Lucas brought to Foster the original screenplay, after which Foster fleshed out the backstory of time, place, planets, races, history and technology in such detail that it became canonical for all subsequent Star Wars novels. Foster wrote the novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, a Star Wars sequel published in 1978, two years prior to the release of The Empire Strikes Back. Foster’s story relied heavily on abandoned concepts that appeared in Lucas’s early treatments for the first film. Foster was stunned when Return of the Jedi revealed the characters of Luke and Leia as brother and sister; in Splinter, the characters exhibit quite a bit of romantic and sexual energy. Although Splinter was contradicted by later entries in the Star Wars film canon, it was the first “Star Wars expanded universe” entry written (although not the first published—a Marvel Comics story holds that honor). Foster wrote the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Foster is also credited with writing the story for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He also wrote 10 books based on episodes of the animated Star Trek, the first six books each consisting of three linked novella-length episode adaptations, and the last four being expanded adaptations of single episodes that segued into original story. In the mid-seventies, he wrote original Star Trek stories for the Peter Pan-label Star Trek audio story records. He later wrote the novelization of the 2009 film Star Trek, his first Star Trek novel in over 30 years. He later wrote the novelization for Star Trek’s sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness.