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The Freeman Air and Space Institute (FASI) is delighted to be hosting a panel event ‘Masters of the Air: Depictions of Air Power in TV and Film.’ This event will take place from 18.30 to 20.30 on 27 March 2024 in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre followed by a drinks reception in the Anatomy Museum at King’s College London. Places can be booked in person or online.

The ‘Masters of the Air: Depictions of Air Power in TV and Film’ panel will be chaired by FASI PhD Student Sophy Higgins and includes Actor Jon Ewart, Reader in Film Studies and Head of the Film Studies Dept at Queen Mary UoL Dr Guy Westwell, and PhD researcher and Assistant Lecturer at the University of Essex, James Jefferies. They will discuss the recently released tv drama series, 'Masters of the Air,' which explores the experience of the US Army Air Force airmen of the Eighth Air Force in World War II. Based on Donald L. Miller’s book of the same name, this tv series follows the 100th Bomb Group as the airmen embark on dangerous bombing campaigns against German-occupied Europe.

Topics explored in this panel will span across war and film studies, discussing the visual capture of aerial combat, portrayal of air power in the series, historical accuracy, and the depiction of airmen and the intensity of war in visual media.

*If you book an online ticket you will receive an email with a Zoom link two days before the event and again two hours before the event start.

*Please note that filming/photography will take place at this event for promotional and archival purposes. The photographs and recordings made are likely to appear on our website/social channels. If you would prefer not to be photographed please let a member of staff know prior to the event beginning.


Sophy Higgins

PhD student, undertaking an LAHP-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with the Freeman Air and Space Institute and the Royal Air Force Museum, Sophy Higgins researches the influence of women on the development of the RAF in the interwar years.


Jon Ewart

Actor in Masters of the Air, Jon played the role of Lt William H. Couch. Couch was a bombardier in the 100th Bomb Group and 349th Bombardment Squadron based in Airfield Thorpe Abbotts. His B-17 Shack Rabbits ‘Oh Nausea’ was shot down on 17 August 1943 and Couch became a Prisoner of War until the end of the war. Jon Ewart is also known for his roles in EastEnders (as Tiffany’s boyfriend, Blake), ITV's Trauma (as Dean Curran), Fox's Deep State, and in various West End productions. He is represented by London-based Piers Nimmo management and LA-based Grandview management.

Dr Guy Westwell

Reader in Film Studies and Head of the Film Studies Department at Queen Mary University of London, Guy Westwell researches the relationship between film/photography and cultural memory with a particular focus on war films. His 2006 book War Cinema: Hollywood on the Front Line explores the representations of war in films like All Quiet on the Western Front, We Were Soldiers, Apocalypse Now and Saving Private Ryan. His other books include the Oxford Dictionary of Film Studies and Parallel Lines: Post 9/11 American Cinema which both debated and critiqued the history of the war film genre.

James Jefferies

PhD researcher and Assistant Lecturer at the University of Essex, James Jefferies researches the cultural memory of aerial warfare with a focus on the allure of ‘the flyer’ in the Second World War. He has appeared on Paul Woodadge’s WW2TV as a guest historian discussing the memory and role of the Bomber Command in the Battle of Britain.

At this event


PhD Student

Event details

K6.29, Anatomy Lecture Theatre and Museum
Anatomy Museum
Anatomy Museum, Strand Campus, King's College London, WC2R 2LS