‘Masters of the Air’ is a gripping war drama available on Apple TV+, brought to life by creators John Shiban and John Orloff. Adapted from Donald L. Miller’s 2007 book, ‘Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany,’ the series delves into the harrowing experiences of the 100th Bomb Group, a renowned B-17 Flying Fortress unit in the Eighth Air Force during World War II. Affectionately known as the “Bloody Hundredth” for the severe losses endured in combat missions, the storyline unfolds high above the earth, chronicling the intense battles faced by ten men inside the formidable “Flying Fortress” against relentless waves of German fighters. Now, embark on a viewing journey with these 8 shows like ‘Masters of the Air’ that are well worth your attention.
8. X Company (2015-2017)
‘X Company’ is a riveting historical drama created by Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern. Set during World War II, it follows a group of Allied recruits at Camp X, a secret spy training facility in Canada. The cast includes Evelyne Brochu, Jack Laskey, and Warren Brown. Much like ‘Masters of the Air,’ ‘X Company’ explores the challenges faced by individuals in wartime, emphasizing the camaraderie among the characters. Both series jump into the intense and high-stakes environments of World War II, portraying the courage and sacrifices made by those who played crucial roles in the historical events of their respective narratives.
7. World on Fire (2019-)
‘World on Fire,’ crafted by Peter Bowker, unfolds a sweeping narrative across various perspectives during the tumultuous times of World War II. This emotionally charged drama boasts a stellar ensemble cast including Jonah Hauer-King, Julia Brown, and Helen Hunt. Centered on characters from different countries grappling with the war’s impact, the series knits together their interconnected stories. In a parallel to ‘Masters of the Air,’ ‘World on Fire’ captures the human experience amidst global conflict, offering a nuanced portrayal of individuals navigating love, loss, and resilience against the backdrop of historical upheaval, making it a good watch for enthusiasts of wartime dramas.
6. Generation Kill (2008)
Both ‘Generation Kill’ and ‘Masters of the Air’ share the visceral intensity of war narratives but diverge in settings. While ‘Masters of the Air’ explores WWII air combat, ‘Generation Kill,’ created by David Simon and Ed Burns, immerses viewers in the Iraq War. The series, based on Evan Wright’s book, follows the First Reconnaissance Battalion during the 2003 invasion. Led by Alexander Skarsgård and James Ransone, the ensemble cast delivers raw performances, capturing the complexities and moral dilemmas faced by soldiers. Both shows excel in portraying the human side of warfare, offering gripping perspectives on the challenges and camaraderie amidst chaos.
5. Catch-22 (2019)
‘Catch-22’ and ‘Masters of the Air’ converge in their exploration of wartime absurdity. While ‘Masters of the Air’ navigates the skies of WWII, ‘Catch-22,’ adapted from Joseph Heller’s novel, takes a satirical dive into the madness of the U.S. Army Air Forces during the same era. Developed by Luke Davies and David Michôd, the series features a cast including Christopher Abbott and Kyle Chandler. With dark humor, ‘Catch-22’ captures the bureaucratic absurdities and moral paradoxes faced by bomber crew members. Both shows blend drama and satire, offering distinct yet complementary perspectives on the chaos and paradoxes inherent in war.
4. Generation War: Our Mothers, Our Fathers (2013)
‘Generation War: Our Mothers, Our Fathers,’ a German miniseries created by Philipp Kadelbach, provides a poignant portrayal of World War II from the perspective of five friends. The cast includes Volker Bruch, Tom Schilling, and Katharina Schüttler. This emotionally charged drama delves into the moral dilemmas and personal sacrifices faced by the characters amidst the war’s chaos. In alignment with the visceral storytelling of ‘Masters of the Air,’ ‘Generation War’ offers a gripping exploration of the human experience during wartime, emphasizing the profound impact of conflict on individuals and the intricate web of relationships shaped by the tumultuous historical backdrop.
3. The Liberator (2020)
In ‘The Liberator,’ an animated World War II miniseries created by Jeb Stuart, the visceral tale of Captain Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment comes to life. The series, employing a unique combination of live-action and CGI animation, immerses viewers in the grueling Italian campaign. Bradley James and Martin Sensmeier lead the cast, delivering powerful performances. Similar to the immersive war narrative in ‘Masters of the Air,’ ‘The Liberator’ honors the sacrifices of soldiers, vividly depicting the harrowing experiences of combat. Both shows capture the indomitable spirit of those who faced the challenges of war with courage and resilience.
2. The Pacific (2010)
Fans captivated by the intense drama of ‘Masters of the Air’ should undoubtedly dive into ‘The Pacific.’ This gripping miniseries, spearheaded by Bruce C. McKenna and executive produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, presents the Pacific Theater of World War II through the eyes of Marines. With a focus on the battles of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, ‘The Pacific’ complements ‘Masters of the Air’ by offering a visceral portrayal of wartime challenges. Led by James Badge Dale, Rami Malek, and Jon Seda, the talented cast brings the harrowing realities of the Pacific campaign to life, delivering a narrative that echoes the emotional depth of its European theater counterpart.
1. Band of Brothers (2001)
For aficionados of the adrenaline-pumping saga in ‘Masters of the Air,’ ‘Band of Brothers’ is an absolute must-watch masterpiece. Crafted by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, this gripping war drama immerses viewers into the camaraderie-forged crucible of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. The stellar ensemble, featuring Damian Lewis, David Schwimmer, and Ron Livingston, delivers performances that resonate with authenticity, making the harrowing journey from D-Day to the heart of Nazi Germany palpable. ‘Band of Brothers’ stands as an emotional powerhouse, mirroring the intense storytelling that makes ‘Masters of the Air’ an exhilarating exploration of courage, sacrifice, and the unbreakable bonds forged in the crucible of war.
Read More: Best War Movies on HBO Max