Once Archer made its fifth season a Miami Vice spoof, every season has reinvented the show in a different genre. There was the film noir Archer: Dreamland, the ‘30s serial Archer: Danger Island and more. The upcoming tenth season will be a sci-fi spoof set in deep space and full of aliens.

FXX brought the voice cast and executive producers of Archer to WonderCon to preview the new season. /Film spoke with EPs Matt Thompson and Casey Willis in a press room roundtable to find out more about the new season, coming sometime in 2019.

It Won’t Be Like the Season 3 Finale

Archer has been to space before. The two-part finale of season three had Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and the gang in space for a mission. That still fit the “real world” secret agent genre of the first four seasons. But this is total sci-fi, with aliens and other worlds.

“[In season three] it almost looked like the space shuttle,” Thompson said. “It was tech that is around right now. This is warp drives and space monsters and things that are very fanciful as opposed to a space station and it felt real. This is much harder sci-fi. There are different planets and different societies and aliens that appear monstrous.”

Those season three episodes did provide a template of sorts, though.

“There are some things we reused,” Willis said. “We went back and looked at them because the past couple seasons we haven’t been able to reuse any drawings. Everything’s been redone every season, but we did have at least a little bit to go on from that season 3 space episode. So we were able to do that, but not as practical.”

Season 10 reinvents the Archer gang as more of a Firefly-type gang.

“It’s a little bit of that rebel crew that’s been out there just trying to make money and survive on their own and they’re done, tired of it,” Thompson said.

Sci-fi and Archer Easter Eggs

The Archer writers and animators are having fun with the space setting. Look for them paying homage to some of their favorite movies and television shows.

“The first first one that people will notice is as we fade up in the first episode, we really see the original Alien a lot in just the tech of the ship,” Thompson said. “We feel that original distress beacon going off. Then from there, it takes off more into an almost like Next Generation or Battlestar Galactica references. That original Alien almost felt a little low tech. Everything had its industrial feel to it so we get a little bit more into the glossier sci-fi tech as it goes on.”

They’re also paying homage to some of the past nine seasons of Archer, although fans may have to work hard to find the references.

“For people that are fans of the show, there are a lot of advertisements and billboards in alien languages that you will have to decode that are references to our own show from our own different season in the past,” Thompson said. “Even referencing ourselves inside of alien languages and stuff has been interesting.”

Fan favorite characters like the gay hitmen are coming back as well. “There are some hitmen, Charles and Rudy, that were in the first season and then the fifth season as well,” Willis said. “So they’re coming back again, but you’re not going to really recognize them.”

A Possible Orville Reference

As captains of a ship, Archer and Lana (Aisha Tyler) are on the outs.

“In this season, Archer and Lana are divorced in this world,” Willis said. “They are also co-captains of a ship so how does that work between them?”

Fox’s The Orville also has a captain forced to work with his ex as a first officer, but this Archer plot came more out of the same desire to reinvent the show every year. Creator Adam Reed got tired of the same old relationship, so the show reinvented them.

“Talking to Adam about the last season, being out there in the jungle, he didn’t like that they had to meet each other again,” Thompson said. “He’s like, ‘I’m done with Lana and Archer meeting each other again.’ Instead, he went the other way and said, ‘Not only have they met. They’ve met, fell in love and now they hate each other. Now they have to serve as co-captains for this ship.’ So all that backstory is already in place and that’s a direct reaction to, ‘I don’t want him to have to meet her and introduce himself again.’”

New Guest Stars

New guest stars for season 10 include Sam Richardson as a little green starfish alien, Jillian Bell as a rival captain, and Matt Berry as Mr. Deadly.

“She’s awesome because her captain is against Archer as a captain,” Thompson said. “They kind of have a captain-off if you will.”

Thompson described Mr. Deadly as “basically a solar system shattering bomb ready to go off. Hearing Matt Berry’s voice come out of that as somewhat of an android is very interesting.”

Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation will likely notice his similarities to Q.

“We like that idea of having a Q or trickster type character that they interact with,” Willis said. “So not a hostile alien, but just a guy who’s like here’s this problem. How are you going to solve it?”

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