While we're always guaranteed to get some of the best jokes on TV in each season of Archer, we're not all promised a familiar setting in which to see those jokes. And though Season 8 will take some cues from this past season of Hollywood starlets and private investigation gags, it's going to be a complete (if not permanent) reimagining. Or perhaps just an "imagining," as this noir-leaning season is being dubbed Archer: Dreamland, since it will take place completely inside of Sterling Archer's comatose mind. According to creator Adam Reed, who spoke with Cinema Blend and other outlets at Comic-Con:
We're doing a departure from the norm. I think it's the most different thing that we've done. It's going to be even more serialized than we've done in the past. And also in French. [laughs] So that's been hard to write because I don't speak French.
It's a strange thing to picture something taking place in Archer's unconscious mind carrying a season and being more serialized than the saga of Veronica Deane and Alan Shapiro in Season 7. But that doesn't stop it from being an amazing way to follow up the strange cliffhanger in the finale involving Archer's possible death (and the introduction of his clone). While still sticking to the James Bond-ish guns that held this motley crew together for this long, Dreamland will take its P.I. lifestyle to the 1920s for a murder mystery in which many of these characters will be meeting for the first time (so to speak), giving it a completely new vibe.
In the footage shown to audiences at this year's Comic-Con (via IndieWire), Archer is a dapper dan putting his detective skills into the search for whoever killed his partner Woodhouse, in a nod to the late actor George Coe. Central to the proceedings will be a nightclub where Lana serves as part of the musical entertainment (with Aisha Tyler doing her own singing) along with the trumpet-tooting Ray, while Krieger will be a presumably bananas bartender. Cyril and Pam are detectives, though Pam is now living life as a man, and Mallory will serve as "M" in a blatant nod to the 007 inspiration. And let's not forget the great Jeffrey Tambor returning as Len Trexler, who gets to return as a mob boss.
And while this might seem like a random left turn that hints at a lack of creative fuel, that's not at all the case. Here's what executive producer Matt Thompson had to say when I asked if FX's three-season renewal brought on any changes that single-season renewals didn't.
I think there's been planning for three more seasons rather than just one at a time. I know Adam has some plans for not just this season, but for the two after that as well, so that's different. We haven't had that before. So it's exciting.
Now, obviously Season 9 is going to have Archer waking up from his coma and getting back into life after having lived through another completely fictitious (on top of already being fictional) adventure. But what if he's been in that coma for 5 years and everyone else is noticeably older now and everything has changed. And what if Season 10 took place underwater? The sky, or the ocean, is the limit for random creativity when you know you've got years left to go. And we can't wait to see just how roarin' Archer makes the '20s when the show returns.
With what will hopefully contain some of the magnificent fight scenes of seasons past, Archer: Dreamland will premiere at some point in 2017, possibly on FXX, or possibly on FX.