The Soviet Union's TOPGUN counterpart

Paper Skies delves into the elite 1521st Aviation Base Maryy "aggressor" squadrons located in Turkmenistan, known as the Soviet Union's TOPGUN counterpart; both schools were established around the early 1970s after the discovery of military doctrine deficiencies exposed during live combat, and as a result both were focused on developing new tactics centered around the interceptor platforms of the time. Post WWII, the nuclear bomb changed the concept of how future warfare would be waged, and like sports teams centering all aspects around a franchise player, both sides began the systematic process of updating tactics to become nuclear bomb adjacent; thus air-to-air combat capabilities were deprioritized in favor of supersonic interception once military strategists on both sides of the Iron Curtain came to the conclusion that advances in radar and missile technology negated dogfighting, leading to interceptor-fighters like the MiG-21 and the F4 Phantom lacking internal cannons by design. How the two nations overcame their overreliance on air-to-air missiles is a fascinating and oft-unheard tale.

Below are some notable Paper Skies episodes that have a similar feel to Orson Scott Card's "The Shadow Series" and Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon", where concurrent timelines overlap like a moiré pattern to provide a richer context to the intersecting events that have brought us to this moment, right here, right now: