Masters of the Air – The DVDfever Review – Apple TV+ – Austin Butler, Barry Keoghan

Masters of the Air Masters of the Air is a new 8-part drama on Apple TV+ from the creators of Band of Brothers, so we already know the precedent this is going to set, since that was a wonderful series, which was shown in the UK on BBC2 in 2001.

Taking the lead are two friends and colleagues, nicknamed Buck and Bucky, which will get confusing – although their full names are Major Gale ‘Buck’ Cleven (Austin ButlerElvis) and Major John ‘Bucky’ Egan (Callum TurnerFantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore), but no sooner than five minutes into the opener, just as they’re discussing who’ll be the first to see action, this fast-forwards to May 21st, 1943, as Bucky’s part of the 389th Bomb Group, over Wilhelmshaven, Germany, being pursued by the Nazis.

For Buck, he’s part of the 100th Bomb Group, going to England in the Spring of 1943, to join US Army 8th Air Force, showing us some glorious flight, then landing at Bluie West One Airfield, South Greenland. Obviously, the planes are CGI, but in 2024, how many of these planes would still be flying, anyway? That said, I did get the chance to see a Lancaster Bomber at the Krazy Races in May 2023, as you can see in the video below.

Lancaster Bomber Flies Over Stockport Krazy Races (May 28th 2023) – DVDfeverGames

Masters Of The Air will start with two episodes upon release, then weekly after that, and I’ve seen both of the first two, which both give a good mix of general chit-chat as the men get to meet each other and we see them bounce off one another; plus a fair smattering of action, one scene for which shows one plane taking a rather wrong turn, then others heading off to bomb U-boat pens in Bremen, Germany, as well as going to the coast of Norway to drop their load – a mission which will also bring Barry Keoghan (The Banshees Of Inisherin) to the fore as American Irish Lt. Curtis Biddick.

I could extend this review by talking about sweeping vistas and stunning locations with gripping moments as the men get into battle and you’re wondering who will make it, since as is the case in war, not everyone will come back alive. But… I don’t want to give spoilers, so just get this watched, and I’m very much looking forward to the rest.

After all, as well as the production team, we’re also in good hands with the likes of Austin Butler, who was so good in Elvis, and Barry Keoghan, who’s brilliant in… well, everything he’s in!

Masters of the Air is on Apple TV+ from tomorrow, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. Initially, two episodes are available, and additional episodes will stream weekly.

Check out the trailer below:

Masters of the Air – Official Trailer – Apple TV+

Detailed specs:

Running time: 45-65 mins per episode
Release date: January 26th 2024 (first 2 episodes, then weekly)
Studio: Apple TV+
Format: 2.39:1 (Dolby Vision, X-OCN XT(6K), Super 16)

Series Directors: Cary Joji Fukunaga, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Dee Rees, Timothy Van Patten
Novel: Donald L Miller
Writers: John Orloff, John Shiban
Music: Blake Neely

Maj. Gale ‘Buck’ Cleven: Austin Butler
Maj. John ‘Bucky’ Egan: Callum Turner
Lt. Harry Crosby: Anthony Boyle
Lt. Curtis Biddick: Barry Keoghan
Sgt. Ken Lemmons: Rafferty Law
Lt. James Douglass: Elliot Warren
Major Everett Blakely: David Shields
Capt. Charles Bean Cruikshank: Matt Gavan
Capt. John D Brady: Ben Radcliffe
Lt. Glenn Graham: Darragh Cowley
Lt. Col. John B. Kidd: Edward Ashley
Major Robert ‘Rosie’ Rosenthal: Nate Mann
Lt. John Fredrick: Ben Vincent
Capt. Bernard DeMarco: Adam Long
Sammy: Alfie Tempest
Billy Taylor: Toby Eden
Lt. Howard ‘Hambone’ Hamilton: Jordan Coulson
Colonel Neil ‘Chick’ Harding: James Murray
Capt. Frank Murphy: Jonas Moore
Sgt. James Gibson: Jake Wardle
Capt. Robert ‘Stormy’ Becker: Tom Joyner
RAF Pilots: Eric Tiede
Sgt. William Quinn: Kai Alexander
Capt. Joseph ‘Bubbles’ Payne: Louis Greatorex
Lt. William Couch: Jon Ewart
Lt. Roy Claytor: Sawyer Spielberg
Tommy: Tommy Jessop
2nd Lt. Robert H. Daniels: Ncuti Gatwa
Marge: Isabel May