Masters of the Air: need to know

What you need to know about the new Apple TV+ series produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

What’s this?

A new, highly anticipated limited series that recreates the 100th Bomb Group (AKA the“Bloody Hundredth), a B-17 Flying Fortress unit in the Eighth Air Force, during the second world war as it completes punishing and frequently fatal combat missions. With a focus on air, the series serves as a companion to Band of Brothers (2001) and The Pacific (2010).

What’s the official tag line?

During World War II, airmen risk their lives with the 100th Bomb Group, a brotherhood forged by courage, loss and triumph.

Is it based on a book?

It’s based on the book Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany (2007) by the American historian Donald L Miller.

Who’s produces Masters of the Air?

Steven Spielberg is executive producer through Amblin Television with co-executive producers Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, alongside Playtone executive producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and co-executive producer Steven Shareshian.

Who wrote the show?

Screenwriter John Orloff.

What was the journey from script to screen?

In January 2013, HBO confirmed it was developing the miniseries, but in 2019 it was reported that Apple had made a deal with Steven Spielberg’s and Tom Hanks’s respective production companies to stream the series on Apple TV+ exclusively). Filming began in early 2021 (only to be paused briefly due to positive Covid tests on set).

Where was Masters of the Air filmed?

In the UK, at Dalton Barracks in Oxfordshire; at Newland Park, Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire (where a seond world war barracks was constructed for the set) ….. and  in Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.

What’s the show’s budget?

$250 million.

Who stars in Masters of the Air?

Austin Butler (Major Gale Cleven), Callum Turner (Major Jogn Egan). Sawyer – son of Steven – Spielberg (Roy Frank Claytor), Barry Keoghan (Lt. Vurtis Biddick), Lauren McQueen (Rose), Raff – son of Jude –Law (Sgt. Ken Lemmons), Ncito Gatwa (2nd Lt. Robert H Daniels), Anthony Boyle (Major Crosby), and many more …

Who directs the show?

Various: Cary Joji Fujunaga (four episodes), Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (two episodes), Dee Rees (two episodes), Tim Van Patten (one episode).

How many episodes?


How long is each episode?

One hour.

What’s the classification?

MA15+ in Australia.

Is there a trailer?

Where and when can I watch Masters of the Air?

Masters of the Air premieres on 26 January on Apple TV+.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites