ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Master Of The Air first reviews round-up - is this Apple TV's best-ever series?

It's time to prepare for the air - and the critical commentary

Master Of The Air first reviews round-up - is this Apple TV's best-ever series?
Danielle de Wolfe
25 January 2024

The first reviews for brand new Apple TV Plus show Master Of The Air has landed - and it looks to be one of the platform's best received shows EVER.

Created by John Shiban and John Orloff, the nine-part limited Apple TV+ series is the companion to acclaimed HBO releases Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

Up until now, the streaming service had received widespread acclaim for its breakout comedy series The Morning Show, Ted Lasso and not forgetting M. Night Shyamalan thriller Servant.

However, it seems the platform has struck gold once again courtesy of its latest World War II endeavour.

Following a group of airmen from 100th Bomb Group as they risk life and limb for their country, the limited series depicts a brotherhood is united by tight bonds forged at the height of the war.

This courageous tale is a true emotional rollercoaster, packed with love, loss and triumph in equal measure.

Led by Elvis' breakout star, actor Austin Butler, Saltburn sensation Barry Keoghan, and Dua Lipa's reported new beau Callum Turner, Master Of The Air is packed with notable names.

The show is currently flying high on film television and ranking aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with critics reviews giving it an impressive 85% approval rating.

And it appears the show is more than simply an A-list roll-call, with critics lining up to praise the action-packed series ahead of its release.

With Paste Magazine describing the series as a "compelling tale", critics - including BBC, have described the series as "gripping".

Without further ado, here's what the critics are saying:

Awarding it five stars, Empire Magazine's John Nugent wrote: "Some minor quibbles aside, this is another blockbuster TV smash: a dazzlingly vital history lesson that summons the best tension, drama and emotion of Band Of Brothers."

The FT labels the series: "A prestige spectacle in need of more human substance, Masters of the Air might not save TV single-handedly, but it is still a rousing testament to the real heroism of the Bloody Hundredth."

The Hollywood Reporter's Dan Fienberg writes: "By the end... it’s the overall achievement of Masters of the Air — one of nuts-and-bolts craftsmanship and emotion alike — that stands out more than the not-insignificant flaws."

Dextero writer Cameron Frew labels the series "a landmark", adding: "Masters of the Air is big, beautiful, and horrifying; as impeccable as a tribute to the sky-faring majesty, tragedy, and heart of the Bloody Hundredth could ever be."

Meanwhile, Collider labels the cast's performances "magnetic", adding: "Masters of the Air, which hails from the award-winning producing team of Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman, is an engaging war story with a stellar set of performances and a lavish production scale rivaling big-screen features."

It looks like a full house as far as reviews are concerned, with the series set to drop on the platform on January 26.

Packed with action sequences and nostalgia aplenty, it's safe to say this is the January watch we have all been waiting for.