Official Visitor Website

New $275m Apple TV+ series Masters of the Air focused solely on Eastern region

Apple TV+ series begins on January 26, 2024

Stars include Golden Globe and BAFTA Best Actor, Oscar-nominated Austin Butler

Made by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg – previous series saw 40% uplift in visitors

Masters of the Air is a new $275m East of England-focused Apple TV+ mini-series from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg starring Oscar-nominated Elvis actor Austin Butler and a plethora of upcoming Hollywood talent.

Following the hugely-successful and multiple-award-winning Band of Brothers and The Pacific, Masters of the Air is the third and final instalment of second world war dramas from Hanks’ Playtone and Spielberg’s Amblin and tells the story of the 350,000 servicemen of the Eighth Air Force who transitioned through the East of England between 1942-45.

It was The Friendly Invasion, with the East of England introduced to chewing gum, peanut butter, nylons, Swing and Jazz. A monochrome world suddenly became technicolour through these young men who came from the sky like spacemen.

As well as Golden Globe and BAFTA Best Actor winner Butler, the series features Barry Keoghan, who starred in Dunkirk, the Banshees of Inisherin, HBO’s Chernobyl, played The Joker in The Batman and will soon be seen in the Gladiator sequel, Callum Turner from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Jude Law’s son Raff in his first major role, and the new Doctor Who, Ncuti Gatwa, who’s also in the Barbie movie.

Gary Fukunaga, director of Daniel Craig’s Bond swansong No Time To Die directs the first three episodes.

Read the Apple TV+ press release

Undoubtedly, the series will garner a huge amount of promotion and publicity and will encourage Screen Tourism visits to the region.

The series was shot in Oxfordshire in late 2021, with post-production completed in California, but the story is entirely about the East of England, locations for the air bases and now memorials and museums.

Masters of the Air will have broad appeal to both domestic and international visitors.

When Band of Brothers aired Normandy Tourism reported a 40% uplift in North American visitors to the D-Day Beaches, already a well-visited destination. The series is still being shown around the world, so Masters of the Air will have a long tail.


Visit East of England & Partners, working with VisitBritain, are producing a campaign to encourage staying visits, primarily with a Masters of the Air narrative but broadening that to explore destinations.

The campaign will drive visits to a branded section of the VEE website featuring content outlined below.

We will use our experience gleaned from our £220k Friendly Invasion project, where we invited Masters’ screenwriter John Orloff, original author Don Miller and executive producer Kirk Saduski to the region.

Magazine: ‘The Friendly Invasion – How the Masters of the Air changed East Anglia for ever’

We will be printing an updated version of The Friendly Invasion magazine we published for the original project, which included forewords by Tom Hanks and The Duke of Cambridge, now The Prince of Wales.

This souvenir publication tells the story of the 350,000 US servicemen who transitioned through the region between 1942-45, their bravery and sacrifices in ending Nazi tyranny in Europe, and the Special Relationship they formed with the local population.

The magazine also includes suggested itineraries, guides to our towns and cities, and other links between this region and the USA.

VEE website

Digital map: highlighting the main museums and memorials, as well as places to eat and stay, others places of interest and things to do. Itineraries can be highlighted too.

Itineraries: We are creating tours of varying lengths, focusing on Masters assets, highlighting places to stay and eat.

Blogs: A range of content highlighting how the servicemen spent their R&R, the market towns where they drank, destination guides, historical links such as The Mayflower, Thomas Paine and John Rolfe.

E-shots: Content-driven e-shots highlighting the above content.


Using the Masters of the Air narrative, this circa 116-page e-publication will serve as an introduction to the East of England and its wider tourism offering, including south and east Cambs and north Essex.

It will include travel details, places to stay and eat, destination guides, historical links, itineraries.

Bookable product

We will work with US travel operators to create bookable trips.

If you’re interested in being involved with this campaign, please email VEE Business Development Executive Laura Munnings.