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Masters Of The Air — cast, plot and everything we know about the epic World War Two series

Masters of The Air on Apple TV+ follows the American Air Force in Britain during World War Two.
Masters of The Air on Apple TV+ follows the American Air Force in Britain during World War Two. (Image credit: Getty)

Masters Of The Air is the latest instalment in the Band Of Brothers war drama series, and it's coming to Apple TV+ in 2022 with a lead cast including US star Austin Butler, who has received well deserved acclaim for his portrayal of Elvis in the 2022 Baz Lurhmann movie. Other American stars include Nate Mann and Freddy Carter, plus theer's host of young British talent, including Callum Turner, Raff Law, Josh Bolt and Anthony Boyle. Fresh from directing hit Bond movie No Time To Die, Cary Fukunaga has now taken charge of this ten-part series about the final year of World War Two.

Based on the book Masters Of The Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany by Donald L. Miller (opens in new tab) this war epic tells the story of the actions of the US Army’s elite Eighth Air Force of the United States Army, who brought the war to Hitler's doorstep by bombing Berlin, Hanover, Liepzig and Dresden, destroying enemy targets like rail facilities and oil refineries, while also being expected to engage in air-to-air fighter combat at 25,000ft. The missions were highly dangerous and produced many heroes. 

Here’s our guide to what we know so far about the Apple TV+ epic war series Masters Of The Air

Masters Of The Air release date

Masters Of The Air has no official release date yet, but we’ll update as soon as we find out more from Apple TV+. We do believe a worldwide air date will be some time in late 2022, or this could be extended to early 2023 if post-production takes longer.

Is there a Masters Of The Air trailer?

There's currently no trailer for Masters Of The Air. Apple TV+ will likely release a full Masters Of The Air trailer some time in 2022 before transmission and we'll post it right here. 

Masters Of The Air filming locations

A former World War II airfield near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, was recently used as a Masters Of The Air filming location, as well as nearby Dalton Barracks. Meanwhile, a sprawling US Airforce base has been constructed for the upcoming drama at the site of a disused university and hotel in the Buckinghamshire countryside near Chalfont St Giles, at a cost of $7 million. This will be the large personnel hub of a US Army Air Forces airfield, and has a collection of full-sized Nissen Huts plus other outbuildings. The sleepy Berkshire village of Bray was filled with extras to film scenes at the Hinds Head pub.  

In August 2021 filming moved to Oxford, around Radcliff square, the Bodleian Library and in Catte Street. Of course many of these locations are currently used for the hit ITV crime series Endeavour. In early September 2021 there was filming in the old town Hemel Hempstead, which has previously been used in the Netflix comedy After Life with Ricky Gervais.

Masters of The Air cast — Austin Butler is Gale Cleven

Austin Butler takes the main role in Masters Of The Air of American airman Gale Cleven. The California-born actor and musician has received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in the hit 2022 biopic movie Elvis by Baz Luhrmann. He's previously had roles playing James "Wilke" Wilkerson in the TV series Switched At Birth, Tex Watson in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Jordan Gallagher in Ruby & The Rockits, Sebastian Kydd in The Carrie Dairies and Wil Ohmsford in The Shannara Chronicles

'Masters Of The Air' star Austin Butler plays airman Gale Cleven.

Masters Of The Air star Austin Butler plays airman Gale Cleven. (Image credit: Getty)

Austin Butler as Elvis in the Baz Luhrmann movie.

Austin Butler as Elvis in the 2022 Baz Luhrmann movie. (Image credit: Warner Bros)

Anthony Boyle is Major Crosby

Anthony Boyle is set to play Major Crosby in Masters of The Air. He’s just starred as Brian Wood in the BBC2 drama Danny Boy, based on the true life story of a soldier’s journey from hero to alleged war criminal. He's also appeared in Ordeal by Innocence, The Plot Against America, Tolkien and Derry Girls.

Anthony Boyle as Brian Wood in Danny Boy.

Anthony Boyle as accused soldier Brian Wood in Danny Boy. (Image credit: Gareth King (BBC).)

Callum Turner is Major John Egan

After the wartime bombing campaign depicted in Masters Of The Air, real life American Air Force hero Major John Egan served in Korea and the Far East. Then, after attending the National War College in Washington DC he was assigned duties in the Policy Division, Directorate of Plans. At 45, he died of a heart attack in 1961 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Callum Turner, who plays Egan, received a nomination for a Best Actor BAFTA for his performance in the 2019 thriller The Capture (BBCiPlayer and Peacock in the US, see below). He’s also known for starring as Theseus Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and as Frank Churchill in the 2020 film Emma

'Masters Of The Air' star Callum Turner in BBC1's The Capture.

Masters Of The Air star Callum Turner in BBC1's The Capture. (Image credit: BBC)

Raff Law is Sgt Ken Lemmons

Jude Law’s actor son Raff will play Sgt Ken Lemmons in Masters of The Air. He’s recently took the lead role in Twist, the modern take on the classic tale of Oliver Twist, alongside Michael Caine, Rita Ora and Lena Headey, and has appeared in modelling campaigns for Dolce & Gabanna and Timberland.

'Masters Of The Air' star Raff Law in Twist.

'Masters Of The Air' star Raff Law in 'Twist'. (Image credit: Sky)

Josh Bolt is Lt. Winifred 'Pappy' Lewis

Josh Bolt is playing the airman Lt. Winifred 'Pappy' Lewis in Masters Of The Air. The actor recently told the podcast My Time Capsule (opens in new tab) a little about the experience, which he says has been absolutely incredible. "The scale and the scope of it is amazing — it's Apple TV, it's Spielberg! The only downside to it was I had to have a really horrendous haircut for eight months! The director called me down to set and said the guy I was playing was nicknamed 'The Bald Eagle!' because he went bald at 20! So they shaved off my hair and made me a bald patch! Every morning I'd sit with the lovely make up team who'd give me a head shave. But I knew it was Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg producing so of course I didn't mind."

 Josh played Rob Dawson in hit ITV comedy Benidorm, and he also starred as Raff in in five series of BBC1 drama Last Tango In Halifax. Josh is no stranger to filming war epics — in 2018 he starred as US airman Dunbar in the Channel 4 adaptation of Catch 22 directed by George Clooney. In 2020 he portrayed killer Michael Barton in the BBC1 drama Anthony by Jimmy McGovern. 

As a child star Josh took the lead role in the British movie The Be All And End All, plus ITV drama Just Henry in 2011. He was also a teen when he played Pete Shotton in the John Lennon movie Nowhere Boy.

Josh Bolt as Dunbar (top right) in Catch 22.

Josh Bolt as Dunbar (top right) in Catch 22. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Josh Bolt as Benidorm's Rob Dawson in the comedy's final series.

Josh Bolt as Benidorm holidaymaker Rob Dawson in the comedy's final series.  (Image credit: ITV)

Tommy Jessop

Tommy Jessop, who was recently seen in Line of Duty as murder suspect Terry Boyle, is also among the cast. Although his role is yet to be announced, he recently teased on Twitter that a top secret project he was working on required him to learn boxing, sword fighting and fishing and we believe it could be for Masters Of The Air.

Tommy Jessop as Terry Boyle (front) in Line Of Duty.

Tommy Jessop as Terry Boyle (front) in Line Of Duty. (Image credit: BBC)

Masters of The Air cast — who else is starring

Also starring in Masters of The Air are American actor Nate Mann (Little Women, Ray Donovan) as Major Rosie Rosenthal. Louis Greatorex (Catch 22) plays Captain Joseph 'Bubbles' Payne. Freddy Carter (Shadow and Bone) plays Lt. David Friedkin, Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) plays Lt. Curtis Biddick, Sam Gittins (The Smoke) is Sgt William McClelland and Nikolai Kinski (son of late German actor Klaus Kinski) is Colonel Harold Huglin. Mikey Collins (The Terror) is Lt. Paul Joseph Schmalenbach.
Fans of musicals might be excited that Luke Baker, who starred as the school bully Dean in the West End stage version of Everybody's Talking About Jamie, will play Sgt. Vern M Best. James Murray (Prince Andrew in The Crown) will be playing Colonel Neil 'Chick' Harding.

What else do we know about Masters Of The Air?

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are acting as executive producers of Masters Of The Air, while the series is being directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who helmed the delayed Bond film No Time To Die. It’s been adapted from Donald L Miller’s book Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany (opens in new tab), by John Orloff and Graham Yost, who penned Band of Brothers for TV.

A brief guide to Masters Of The Air prequel Band Of Brothers...

The 2001 war drama Band Of Brothers dramatised the history of the US Army’s "Easy" Company (part of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment). Over ten episodes it detailed their exploits during the war, starting with jump training, through to the Normandy landings and the end of World War Two. 

At the time it was the most expensive TV series ever to have been made, and went on to win an Emmy and two Golden Globes for best series.

The show was created by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg and aired on BBC2 in the UK and is currently on BBCIPlayer and Sky Box sets. The all-star ensemble cast included Damian Lewis as Major Dick Winters, David Schwimmer as Captain Herbert Sobel and Ron Livingston as Captain Lewis Nixon. Dexter Fletcher, Colin Hanks and Marc Warren also starred.

World War Two drama Band Of Brothers.

World War Two drama Band Of Brothers. (Image credit: Alamy)
Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.