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Masters of the Air
On Oct. 5, 2023 Apple TV+ unveiled the first images from its upcoming World War II drama, “Masters of the Air,” and announced that the nine-episode limited series will make its global debut on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. Reuniting the award-winning team of Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman who also produced “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” “Masters of the Air” is an action-packed drama that follows the true story of an American bomber group in World War II. The series will premiere on Apple TV+ with two episodes, followed by one new episode every Friday through March 15, 2024.
The series is executive produced by Spielberg, Hanks and Goetzman, and features a stellar cast led by Academy Award nominee Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Nate Mann, Rafferty Law, Academy Award nominee Barry Keoghan, Josiah Cross, Branden Cook and Ncuti Gatwa.
Goetzman also produced ‘Greyhound,’ a 2020 film distributed by Apple TV+ in which Hanks starred as a WWII US Navy destroyer commander escorting a convoy across the Atlantic.
Masters of the Air: a salute to the brave men of the 8th Air Force
“‘Masters of the Air’ is a salute to the brave men of the 8th Air Force, who, through their courage and brotherhood, helped defeat Nazi Germany in World War II,” said executive producer Gary Goetzman in an Apple TV+ press release. “Tom and Steven have always wanted to visualize cinematically what our author Don Miller has called, this ‘singular event in the history of warfare.’ We’re thrilled that Apple TV+ has given us the opportunity to combine the efforts of so many talented people, on-screen and behind the camera, to tell this important story.”
Based on Donald L. Miller’s book of the same name, and scripted by John Orloff, “Masters of the Air” follows the men of the 100th Bomb Group (the “Bloody Hundredth”) as they conduct perilous bombing raids over Nazi Germany and grapple with the frigid conditions, lack of oxygen and sheer terror of combat conducted at 25,000 feet in the air. Portraying the psychological and emotional price paid by these young men as they helped destroy the horror of Hitler’s Third Reich, is at the heart of “Masters of the Air.” Some were shot down and captured; some were wounded or killed. And some were lucky enough to make it home. Regardless of individual fate, a toll was exacted on them all.
The 100th Bomb Group
“Masters of the Air” will highlight the intense aerial combat of the war. According to Air & Space Forces Magazine, more than 26,000 members of the ‘Mighty Eighth’ Air Force were killed during the bombing campaign, about 30 percent more than the number of Marines killed in the entirety of World War II.
Ranging in location from the bucolic fields and villages of southeast England, to the harsh deprivations of a German prisoner-of-war camp, and depicting a unique and crucial time in world history, “Masters of the Air” is enormous in both scale and scope, and a genuine cinematic achievement.
The 100th Bomb Group lives on today in the form of the 100th Air Refueling Wing, a KC-135 aerial refueling tanker unit at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in the United Kingdom. The unit still sports the iconic ‘Square D’ badge first used on B-17 Flying Fortress bombers during World War II.
This article features promotional images of the show released by Apple.