‘Archer’ EP Matt Thompson Talks Getting Back to Basics, New Characters and More
FX’s hit animated series Archer makes its return tonight! We’ve got the scoop from the show’s executive producer, Matt Thompson, on the new season as the gang prepares to get back to what they do best.
As many fans of the show know, the gang is undergoing some changes this season. First, they’re preparing to get back to their spy roots, minus the ISIS moniker (with good reason). Next, we’ll get to see if and how the birth of Abijean will affect Archer and Lana, as well as the gang as a whole, and we’ll also get to meet some cool new characters, including Lana’s parents!
The decision to bring the show back to it’s original format from last season’s cocaine-laden thrill ride Archer: Vice came down to Matt and show creator, Adam Reed. “This season, when Adam [Reed] and I sat down and talked about what we wanted to do, we wanted to get back to what we felt the show was at its core, which is a show about Archer and spying and what I would say is like more visceral action; people going out there and high stakes stuff and people dying and that sort of thing.” Hearing that the show is trying to get back to where it started may be a huge relief for fans, but that doesn’t mean all will be the same when they return to spying.
The birth of Abijean last season was a huge game-changer for Archer. As we will get the chance to see her parents doing their best to parent this year, but don’t expect the show to be all about the baby. “The baby is out there, yes. There’s some things that happen with the baby. Like Everybody Loves Raymond, it was never a story about Raymond’s kids. So, this series is not suddenly going to become Archer and Lana’s baby series, but there are parts where the emotion of Archer and Lana especially is heightened because there are parts when the baby is in danger,” Matt revealed. If Baby Seamus’s stint on the show taught us all anything, it’s that Archer has a LOT to learn about being a dad. Hopefully he’ll get it right (and NOT get tattoos) with Baby Abijean.
Fans will be introduced (and reintroduced) to a few characters this season, but two who will undoubtedly bring an interesting new dynamic to the show are Lana’s parents, described as “Berkeley professors out in California”. The pair will be voiced by C.C.H. Pounder and Keith David and when they meet Archer, it sounds like things will go just about as well as you’d expect them to. “One of my favorite things about that episode is like they’re these Berkeley professors out in California and Archer, the baby and Lana go see them. There’s a moment in the hot tub with Archer and Lana’s parents that pretty much defines who Archer is as a guy. I mean you put him in the hot tub with Lana’s parents and things don’t go well.” (We’d love to see guesses about what this scene could play out like in the comments).
As far as the reintroduction of characters, we’ll see Christian Slater’s character (aptly named Slater) “a lot more this season as our CIA handler.” Not only that, but a popular diversity hire is also set to return. Like we teased in our ATX interview with the cast, Conway Stern (voiced by The Game actor Coby Bell) is also set to make a reappearance. “Conway Stern [is someone] who everybody loved because he was somebody who was just as good or better at everything that Archer is. The piece is played by Coby Bell, and he’s back early on in the season to see what’s happening with him.” Oh, but don’t fear if you’re a more recent Archer-watcher and aren’t sure who Conway is. According to Matt, “It’s not necessary to know what happened in Season 1, but it makes the episode more enjoyable.”
This season of Archer has a lot in store for fans and there’s no doubt that, as in the past from season to season, the graphics will have also massively improved. That in combination with the new/old plot and new/old characters, should add up to a solid sixth season of the show.
Be sure to tune in to the season premiere of Archer tonight at 10pm ET, only on FX.