Surprising series explores the horrors of World War II

In the final chapter of Apple TV+’s “Masters of the Air,” a defiant Holocaust survivor contemplates burying every member of his family. He says, “To live one must make choices.” The circumstances of war and survival make these decisions even more complex and heartbreaking. Based on the official account of World War II historian Donald L. Miller, “Masters of the Air” is a groundbreaking war drama told from the perspective of the men of the 100th Bomb Group, aptly nicknamed the “Bloody Hundredth” . A vast narrative – which could have instantly joined the list of typical war series – blossoms, becoming a fascinating history of courage, loss and the destruction of humanity.

Created by John Shiban and John Orloff with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, the series largely reunites the team behind HBO’s 2002 Emmy-winning war drama, “Band of Brothers.” The show begins in the spring of 1943. Best friend, Major. Gale “Buck” Cleven (Austin Butler) and Maj. John “Bucky” Egan (Callum Turner) prepares to send the ship to Blue West One airfield in South Greenland. (The similar nickname is a cheeky, well-explained inside joke between the pair.) Quiet, reserved and even-tempered, Buck doesn’t drink, dance, or gamble.

In contrast, Bucky, a hot-headed wildcard who arrives in Greenland several weeks before his friend, is ready for action. Yet, when he arrives and sets out on his inaugural mission as a pilot in one of the giant bombers, he encounters more death, blood, and brutality than he could have imagined. Upon landing, the usually happy Bucky becomes stunned and silent.

The first three episodes of the series – which, according to Puck, cost Apple a total of $300 million – are almost too big. The audience competes to name the faces, including Buck, Bucky and Barry Keoghan’s Lieutenant Curtis Biddick. Additionally, the countless missions and horrific loss of life in the “Bloody Hundredth” experience are as disorienting as being trapped in a brutal video game. The endless dogfight involves blown-up faces, bodies falling from the sky, and destroyed airbuses. The intense action in the first three hours makes the early chapters of the show very dense. Simply stunning cinematography, especially during the aerial battles and narration by the bomber navigator Major. Harry Crosby (Anthony Boyle) continues to drink throughout the series. However, in part four, “Masters of the Air” really finds its stride.

The fourth episode begins in the fall of 1943. Casualties are catastrophic, with only 12 of the 35 “Bloody Hundred” crew surviving. While most of the men (about 150 in one afternoon) are killed, others are trapped behind enemy lines, having bailed out of their crashed planes via parachute. This chapter grounds the viewer back down and showcases Sgt. William Quinn (Kai Alexander) and Lieutenant Ron Bailey (Ian Dunnett Jr.) embark on a dangerous journey filled with panic and uncertainty while trying to return to base.

Often, in TV shows and movies depicting World War II, there is little explicit examination of the mental health of soldiers and the toll they take under these unimaginable conditions. Yet, “Masters of the Air” places the emotional and psychological aspects of war front and center, including descriptions of the screaming, the smells and, of course, the sights. From people dying nearly 25,000 feet in the air to POWs nearly frozen to death across Germany, it’s almost unimaginable to see. When Crosby is promoted to group navigator, she is taken off the plane and sent to the office, each life lost feels like a personal failure. Similarly, Major. Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal (Nate Mann), a pilot, struggles desperately with survivor’s guilt, especially when the Air Force increases the number of missions required for full deployment from 25 to 30. Most men do not progress beyond their 11th assignment.

Still, the most interesting aspects of “Masters of the Air” occur in the last three episodes. In part seven, which shows the aftermath of March 6, 1944, aka Black Monday, when more men and aircraft were lost than any other day during the war, the Air Force ultimately came to terms with its tactics and deep-seated racism. But has been forced to reconsider. Or will have to face defeat in the war. Episode 8 introduces the Tuskegee Airmen, aka the Red Tails, 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Jefferson (Brandon Cook), 2nd Lieutenant Robert Daniels (Ncuti Gatwa) and 2nd Lieutenant Richard Macon (Josian Cross). Despite low rank, low pay, and underutilization, these impeccably trained Black airmen operated the fast and efficient single-seater P-51 aircraft that would ultimately protect the bombers, and reduce deaths many times over.

As “Masters of the Air” moves toward the final days of the war, the remaining men are presented in a new light. After all, even if you survive the fight, extreme conflict will alter and harden the soul, turning you into a person you may not recognize. Bleeding, burning, decapitating, and starving, but as the show reiterates, this is what the people who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep endured. The series is expansive, beautifully presented and a reminder that war is deadly, gruesome, and horrifically human.

The first two episodes of “Masters of the Air” will premiere in January. New episodes will be released weekly through 26 Fridays on Apple TV+.

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

Charlene of Monaco throws Caroline and Stephanie out of the disco; Jalil Lespert against Halidesse Leticia; Rosalie ex-Delan redesigns the family; Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock’s romance; Kim Kardashian separates couple, Taylor Swift holds umbrella

Charlene of Monaco at the disco ball at the Rose Ball. The princess had not ... Read more

Leave a Reply

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