– The following features spoilers for Archer season 7 –
Archer has never been a series afraid to play fast and loose with its own setup. From the very beginning, the series maintained an aesthetic that deliberately obscured whether it took place in the present, the recent past or an alternate reality (i.e. the characters speak and act contemporary, but often use outdated technology and the Soviet Union is still very much around). But for its eighth season, the risque animated comedy will be heading into uncharted territory: The main character’s own imagination.
Now, a pair of new trailers show off Sterling Archer’s strange new world.
Subtitled “Dreamland,” season 8 relocates the main cast of the series (and, one assumes, an assortment of recurring characters) to a 1920s Film Noir setting complete with gangsters, tommy guns and prohibition-era decor. But it’s not time-travel: As the subtitle implies, this is all (apparently) taking place inside the head of Archer himself.
Season 7 (which found the main cast relocating to Los Angeles to start a private detective agency) ended with literal bang: As part of a gambit to foil a convoluted double-cross that had imperiled his teammates, Sterling Archer ended the season face-down in a swimming pool and suffering from a potentially-fatal gunshot wound. While the circumstances of the plot left open the possibility of him being succeeded by a clone, it had already been revealed that he would instead fall into a coma and imagine all (or most) of the events of the new season – though what that will mean for the already-planned seasons 9 and 10 is yet unclear.
Originally conceived as a workplace-focused sendup of the spy/secret agent genre, the first four seasons of Archer found the title character and the main cast working as spies for the I.S.I.S. Agency run by Sterling’s domineering mother. Season 5 opened with the reveal of I.S.I.S. having been an illegal operation subsequently shut down by the CIA, leading the characters to make a career-swerve into (failed) drug-trafficking in the season long “Archer: Vice” storyline. Season 6 saw a return to (now “official”) spy work, while season 7 moved the setting to Hollywood for the private investigator scenario.
The series has been renewed through its 10th season, which the creators have already predetermined to be the last. The series has also jumped networks from its original home on FX to the sibling FXX network, where its reruns currently share block-booking with The Simpsons as “Archer: Nocturnal Missions.”
Archer: Dreamland is set to debut on FXX in Spring of 2017.