‘Mesmerizing’ New WWII Series from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg has Finally Dropped

‘Mesmerizing’ New WWII Series from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg has Finally Dropped

Fans of HBO’s acclaimed series “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific” are in for a treat with the release of “Masters of the Air” on Apple TV+. This latest war drama is the brainchild of the renowned trio Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman, who serve as executive producers. The show, which premiered today (26 January), features a talented cast including Austin Butler (Elvis), Callum Turner (Fantastic Beasts), and Barry Keoghan (Saltburn).

Adapted from Donald L. Miller’s 2006 book “Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany,” the series chronicles the experiences of the 100th Bomb Group, a B-17 Flying Fortress unit in the United States Air Force during World War II. The group earned the nickname ‘Bloody 100th’ due to its high casualty rate.

The narrative weaves a story of heartbreak and camaraderie, reminiscent of Hanks and Spielberg’s previous works. The first two episodes were released simultaneously, with subsequent episodes scheduled for weekly release through February and March, totaling nine episodes, concluding on 15 March.

“Masters of the Air” has been well-received on Rotten Tomatoes, earning a critic score of 83 percent and an even higher audience rating of 92 percent. The initial episodes, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (No Time to Die), have set a high standard for the series.

John Anderson from the Wall Street Journal commented, “The violent action and the loss of life can be so abrupt and unmerciful that viewers can only be grateful they aren’t part of it, and that someone was.” Hugo Rifkind of The Times noted, “As with Band of Brothers, it’s all about the fraternity, the sacrifice, the bravery. The love that young men have for young men, which nudges towards the homoerotic, but only nudges, and is all the more heart-stopping for it.”

Kayleigh Dray of the AV Club praised the series for its portrayal of the human aspect of war, saying, “Many will praise the series for offering up an ambitious spectacle. But we honestly believe that its success lies in its refusal to shy away from the humanity of war. Which is all to say: Watch this show.”

Meghan O’Keefe from Decider advised viewers to watch it for the intense aerial battle scenes and captivating performances, though she cautioned not to expect a show quite on the level of “Band of Brothers.” “Masters of the Air” is currently available on Apple TV+, with new episodes releasing every Friday.