[Spoiler Warning: The below reveals details for “Archer” Season 8 as well as the Season 7 finale.]
The big question following “Archer” Season 7 was the one everyone wanted answered at the FX comedy’s Comic-Con panel Friday afternoon, and the producers & cast wasted no time in letting everyone know what’s next for Archer: “Dreamland.”
At the end of Season 7, it appeared as though Archer died while solving the season-long mystery surrounding Veronica Deane. But the trailer shown to the Comic-Con audience (and not yet available online) found Archer still alive, but in a coma.
That doesn’t mean the season is free from tragedy. Following the death of voice actor George Coe — who played Archer’s butler, Woodhouse — Adam Reed decided it best to end his character’s arc rather than permanently recast him. The trailer showed the “Archer” characters dressed in black, attending Woodhouse’s funeral — all of them except Archer, who was revealed to be stuck in a coma for the three months following his shooting (aka, the Season 7 finale).
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Mallory (voiced by Jessica Walter) and Lana (Aisha Tyler) stood by his bedside, and his mother wondered what her son was thinking — or dreaming — while in the coma. From there, we zoomed into Archer’s sleeping face until he opened his eyes in “Dreamland” as a 1920s-era private investigator.
Dressed in a snappy three-piece suit and matching fedora, Archer immediately dives into investigating who killed “his partner,” Woodhouse. This leads him to a night club where Lana is an elegant singer, Krieger is a bartender, Ray is playing the trumpet and the rest of the characters fill in new roles in this new dreamworld.
“Archer is meeting all these characters for the first time in the first episode,” Adam Reed said. “I really don’t know where that will lead us, but I’m really excited to be writing it.”
“All the characters have changed, but they haven’t changed,” added executive producer Matt Thompson. “It’s really exciting to see Archer walk in and meet Lana for the first time.”
Mallory will be going simply by, “M,” in a nice nod to the series’ James Bond inspirations.
“We’re going to be spending a very big amount of time with ‘M,'” Reed said. “Almost too much. She has a very meaty role this year. ‘M’ for meaty.”
Cyril will play Detective Figgis and Pam is Detective Poovy, who’s getting another, slightly more significant twist as well.
“She’s living as a man,” Reed said.
“Cheryl might have a slightly different name,” he said. “Charlotte Vander Tunt, heiress to the Vander Tunt fortune.”
“The big thing we’re looking forward to this season is Len Trexler, who’s going to be a rival mob boss voiced by Jeffrey Tambor,” Reed said. “And his enforcer is Barry Dillon, who’s probably not a cyborg anymore.”
It was also announced at the panel that Season 8 will premiere in January 2017, but the series is moving to FX’s sister network, FXX.
The trailer below is not the trailer released at Comic-Con, but it is the longest official version released by FX.