Archer Goes To Dreamland (1947)

by Jason Borelli

29868352140_648ab6f043_hIn the beginning, there was Archer, the irreverent take on the spy agency known as the International Secret Intelligence Service . . . or ISIS, for short. The brainchild of Adam Reed (known for Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo), Archer focused on Sterling Archer, an agent who could get the job done, albeit by causing headaches for most people around him.

In the fifth season of the FX hit series, the ISIS gang went into the cocaine trafficking business, with the show becoming "Archer Vice." This status quo did not last, and the cast were in the spy game again, though stripped of their organizational name for obvious reasons. The gang would get blackballed by the CIA, and they spent 2016 going into private detective work. That season wound up winning an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program. However, the series had seemed to paint itself into a corner, as Archer (never "Sterling," except to his mother) was floating dead face-down in a pool.

In Thursday's panel at the Hammerstein Ballroom, co-executive producer Casey Willis revealed the format of the eighth season: "Archer Dreamland." The show will be set in 1947, with Archer (played by H. Jon Benjamin) as a P.I. trying to find the killer of his partner Woodhouse (in "regular" continuity, he was Archer's valet; played in the first four seasons by George Coe, who passed away in 2015). The main cast of characters will be fitted in the environment with new takes. Aisha Tyler (Lana Kane) likened this to DC Comics' "New 52" relaunch from several years ago.

In "Dreamland," Chris Parnell goes from playing resident loser Cyril Figgis to just Figgis, a bad cop who will serve as one of Archer's main antagonists. Poovey (voiced by Amber Nash) will be Figgis' muscle, and the gender of the character will be unknown. The revamped Krieger (Lucky Yates) was described as "a lot mote sinister," and the post-WWII backdrop suggests he would be more of a Nazi than the "regular" version. Gillette (Reed, who was not present) goes from being the gay supporting character to a straight trumpet player. Judy Greer will not have to stray far from Cheryl (or is it Carol?) Tunt; in "Dreamland," she plays Charlotte Vandertunt. A slide showed Charlotte snorting cocaine with a rolled-up dollar, which means that Charlotte hasn't found out about the wonder of sniffing glue yet. Lana will be a lounge singer, meeting Archer (her "baby daddy" in regular continuity) for the first time. Finally, Jessica Walter goes from Malory Archer to Mother, described simply as "The Boss." Also making comebacks are two long-absent players:  Emmy-winning Jeffrey Tambor as Len Trxexler (last seen in the second season), and Barry (the hapless ODIN agent-turned KGB cyborg) as his muscle.

Among the other noteworthy moments were Jessica Walter announcing the shooting of a new season of Arrested Development (she plays Lucille Bluth, a mother as toxic as Malory), and a pitch for The Art Of Archer, which will be published by Dey Street Books. It is scheduled for a December release, and will feature a foreword from Christian Slater, who played Slater in the past few seasons. (link)

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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