Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

‘Masters of the Air’ leaves viewers speechless with historical heroism

Courtesy of Apple TV+
Anthony Boyle, Austin Butler and Callum Turner in “Masters of the Air,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg team up once again to bring viewers back in time with “Masters of the Air,” leaving viewers enamored and heartbroken for a group of true American heroes. 

The nine-episode limited series, based on the book of the same title by Donald L. Miller,  follows the stories of Major John “Bucky” Egan, portrayed by Callum Turner, and his best friend Major Gale “Buck” Cleven, portrayed by Austin Butler. They are joined by their airmen as they are shipped out to England to work and establish the 100th Bomber Group of the 8th Air Force at the Thorpe Abbotts Base. 

Accompanied by actors such as Raff Law who plays 19-year-old Ground Crewman Kenneth “Kenny” Lemmons, and Anthony Boyle who plays Navigator Lieutenant Harry “Croz” Crosby who also narrates the show, the men find themselves in one of the most volatile situations known to man. Another character that stole the hearts of viewers was the lawyer who became one of the most accomplished pilots in the Air Force, Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal, portrayed by Nate Mann who joined the show in episode four. 

Each crew was put in a B-17 bomber plane, affectionately nicknamed “The Flying Fortress,” which was essentially a tin can in the sky that could hold enough bombs to eradicate their targets. 

Each mission was complete chaos in the sky, with the threat of German guns, bombs, rockets and fighter pilots. The 100th Air Force was given the name “The Bloody Hundredth” due to the sheer amount of people that were lost in the 22 months that they were flying. 

While following the stories of the different Airmen, viewers start to get attached to these men and feel as if each loss is personal.

The traumatic events and horrors that each man survived are truly remarkable considering they were the test subjects for each mission. Each man went through horrors from surviving attacks mid-air to getting shot down. They grappled with the reality that they could be captured and brought to a Stalag, a prisoner of war camp, or barely escaping the Germans by trekking toward allied territory. Every one of these stories is represented while creating a personal connection with each crew member. 

The duo of Hanks and Spielberg is prolific in creating and telling the true stories of war, much like their award-winning film “Saving Private Ryan”. This is yet another heartbreaking, astonishing and impressive telling by the pair which is more than just a historically accurate retelling of a story. They show the conditions that the men were put in all while making sure that every actor was trained and in tune with the real environments that these soldiers were exposed to. 

Not only are the visuals and details show-stopping, but each cast member in the show made sure that they were as true to these real-life heroes’ stories as possible. 

Turner played the dynamic, loyal and brave Major Egan in such a way that made you fall in love with both the character and the person who inspired the role. With each new episode, the viewers were completely compelled by the man that they were watching, smiling when he was singing or joking around and clutching their chest when he was in danger. Not only was Turner able to amplify the already charismatic hero in the series, but he was also perfectly in tune with his co-stars, creating a truly engaging series for any viewer. 

Another show-stopping performance was Butler as Major Cleven. The man of few words was an example of more than just bravery, but comradery among all of the men that he was serving with. Butler brought this character’s true intentions to light by showing how much he cared about everyone around him and how much he hurt with each loss of a man during every mission. 

Boyle and Mann gave some of the strongest performances in the show. The pair are seen together more often toward the end of the series and their chemistry is unmatched. They were able to depict every shift in emotion without needing dialogue. With each body movement or facial expression, viewers were able to see right through the mask that each man wore.

These stories are more than just entertainment. The real events that each of these men witnessed and survived are more than just milestones in their lives. Many credit the Allied forces winning WWII to the fact that the B-17 crews were in the sky. That environment in the sky is believed to be one of the most dangerous places to be during the war and these men didn’t shy away from the fight against Nazi Germany.

Throughout the entire series viewers stayed engaged. Even during parts that may be described as slow, the care and admiration that viewers feel for each man is palpable, leaving each person who finishes the series speechless and so endlessly grateful for the sacrifices that were made.

“Masters of the Air” is more than just another series about the war, and it’s more than an action series; it’s a real-life superhero story about men who gave up everything for a cause they believed in. Not only did the survivors lose their friends along the way, but they also lost a piece of themselves after witnessing what others could be capable of. This show is a powerful addition to historical media and deserves to become an award-winning series.

Watch “Masters of the Air” on AppleTV+

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Keely Menyhart
Keely Menyhart, Arts & Entertainment Editor | she/her

Keely is a junior from Merritt Island, Florida. She is majoring in journalism with a print/web concentration and a minor in advertising. When she is not writing for the Journal, you can find her walking through museums, listening to music or rewatching her favorite shows. You can also find her exploring record stores and obsessing over new music. Keely plans on continuing her work from the Journal after graduating by covering music and entertainment for news publications.

Comments (0)

All The Suffolk Journal Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *