Where and When Does Masters of the Air Take Place?

Apple TV+’s ‘Masters of the Air’ follows the exploits of a bomb squad as they put their lives on the line for their country, not knowing what each day brings for them. With a star-studded cast, including Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Barry Keoghan, and Ncuti Gatwa, to name a few, the story focuses on a range of characters, all of whom present a different challenge and impact of war. The many ups and downs in the story keep the audience on edge just as much as it does the characters, and the setting itself decides a lot of what’s in store for the squad. SPOILERS AHEAD

When Does Masters of the Air Take Place?

The events in ‘Masters of the Air’ are set during the Second World War and focus on the latter half of it, with the show entirely focused on the 100th Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force of the US. The events take place between 1943 and 1945, starting from the arrival of the 100th in England, with almost all the soldiers fresh and untouched by any prior experience of war. One by one, however, each of them gets a taste of it as they find themselves battling the enemy at 25000ft with nowhere to run and hide if their plane is hit.

Within these two years, the 100th goes through a lot of changes, and they start to feel the horrors of war right from their first mission, whey they lose 30 men in just one stroke. Over the course of nine episodes, the show turns months into years, and we see a visible change in the characters, who leave behind their innocence as they are hardened by war. Apart from the threat of the enemy, they also face other challenges, like the physical exertion of being inside a fighter plane at such a height, battling the cold while hoping not to get hit by enemy fire, while also grappling with the psychological toll that war takes on a person.

By the time the war ends, all of the men are completely changed by their experience. While some die within days of arriving at the base, others spend the entirety of 2-3 years trying to survive with whatever means possible. The ones who manage to survive, like Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal, walk a difficult road as they watch their brothers-in-arms fall right in front of their eyes while holding on to dear life no matter what situation they land in.

Where Does Masters of the Air Take Place?

‘Masters of the Air’ takes the men in the 100th away from their homes in the States to the battlegrounds of Europe. For the unit, Station 139 Thorpe Abbots Air Base in Norfolk, England, serves as their home for the next two years they spend battling the Nazis. While they fly their planes to different parts, usually flying over the enemy territory to bomb it, they always return to the base (at least those who are not gunned down midair) to recuperate and wait for their next mission.

Unlike the infantry units, where the soldiers remain in the trenches, only getting a reprieve when they march into a town, the time when they are not engaged is much more relaxing for the 100th and other Air Force units. When they manage to get back to base, they get clean beds, better food, and good company in local pubs where they sing and dance their hearts out. Due to this, we also get a glimpse of the local life outside of the base, which brings a sense of a quiet distraction following the nerve-wracking missions the characters barely manage to survive.

A change of scenery also arrives when the characters are sent on missions that land them in unexpected places. In one instance, a plane lands in Scotland after they are lost following a mission. A greater change of pace comes when the characters are gunned down and land themselves in enemy territory. This is where the show takes the audience into the Nazi occupation, with a few members of the 100th becoming prisoners of war and surviving some truly devastating things.

Read More: How is Masters of the Air Connected to Band of Brothers and The Pacific? Is It a Sequel?