Apple TV+ dropped a devastating payload of aerial warfare in its new trailer Wednesday for the upcoming World War II drama series Masters of the Air.
Piloted by the team behind WWII series Band of Brothers and The Pacific, the new series dramatizes the U.S. Army Air Force’s role in helping defeat Germany through bombing. It premieres on Apple TV+ January 26.
Masters of the Air trailer shows air war was hell for WWII ‘bomber boys’
Having executive produced Band of Brothers and The Pacific, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman now complete the trilogy with an in-depth look at the “bomber boys” in the U.S. Army Air Force squadrons that took the war to Hitler via brutal and harrowingly dangerous bombing campaigns, through skies filled with exploding flak and increasingly deadly Nazi fighter planes.
It focuses on the men of the Eighth Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group, who were also the subject of the classic 1949 movie Twelve O’Clock High, starring Gregory Peck.
Any fan of the unflinching realism and character-driven storytelling of Band of Brothers and The Pacific has a lot to look forward to in Masters of the Air. Having nearly finished the 2006 book the series is based on — Masters of the Air: How the Bomber Boys Broke Down the War Machine, by Donald L. Miller — I’m curious to see how it plays out on screen.
England-based bomber group
The book outlines the history of the U.S. Army development of an Air Force and bombing strategies while also telling stories about the men who flew those England-based B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers and accompanying fighter planes in an effort to shorten the bloody ground war in Europe.
With a tighter focus on one bomber group, I suspect the series will flesh out some of the characters even more. The trailer’s not all blood and guts, by the way — we also get to see the boys jitterbugging on base with smitten English women. Fun historical fact: U.S. airmen got the girls with their nattier uniforms and higher pay than RAF flyers, much to the Brits’ chagrin.
Here’s how Apple TV+ describes the series:
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.
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.
Stellar cast and crew
Academy Award nominee Austin Butler (Elvis, The Shannara Chronicles) leads the cast, which also features Callum Turner (Fantastic Beasts film series), Anthony Boyle (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Nate Mann, Rafferty Law, Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Josiah Cross, Branden Cook and Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who).
Spielberg, Hanks and Goetzman executive produce the series. Amblin Television’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey co-executive produce along with Playtone’s Steven Shareshian. John Orloff, who also worked on Band of Brothers, writes writes the series, and co-executive produces along with Graham Yost. Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Dee Rees and Tim Van Patten direct the series.
Watch the trailer
Watch it on Apple TV+
Masters of the Air premieres on Apple TV+ with the first two of nine episodes on Friday, January 26, 2024, followed by one new episode every Friday through March 15.
Apple TV+ is available by subscription for $6.99 with a seven-day free trial. You can also get it via any tier of the Apple One subscription bundle. For a limited time, customers who purchase and activate a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy three months of Apple TV+ for free.
After first airing in November 2019, “Apple TV+ became the first all-original streaming service to launch around the world, and has premiered more original hits and received more award recognitions faster than any other streaming service. To date, Apple Original films, documentaries and series have been honored with 299 wins and 1,451 award nominations and counting,” the service said.
In addition to award-winning movies and TV shows (including breakout soccer comedy Ted Lasso), Apple TV+ offers a variety of documentaries, dramas, comedies, kids shows and more.
Source: Apple TV+