Archer: Danger Island: Strange Pilot
April 26, 2018 7:14 AM - Season 9, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Set in 1939, Season 9 ("Danger Island") finds Archer and the gang assuming new roles for another adventure in an alternate reality, on the tropical island of Mitimotu in French Polynesia, where Mallory runs a hotel and bar, while Sterling and Pam are pilot and co-pilot for Archer Airways.

Seaplane pilot and semi-functioning alcoholic Sterling Archer is drinking, screwing, gambling, and generally bumbling around French Polynesia with Pam Poovy, his co-pilot who he’s gotten into “many scrapes” with across the globe, and a smart-ass parrot named Crackers ("Actually, technically, I'm a macaw, which is actually a type of parrot, so I-I'm technically a parrot, actually.") -- any resemblance to Dr. Krieger are mere chance.

Malory Archer, again Sterling's mother, owns a bar/ hotel/ illegal gambling den, where Charlotte Stratton nee Vandertunt (you know, the redhead, kind of flibbertigibbity) is on a honeymoon with her new husband, Whitney Stratton, while Lana is a princess on the island of Mitimotu.

Mitimotu’s gendarmerie (as well as jail, magistrate, etc) are run by the Frenchman, Capitaine Reynaud. Cypert Fuchs is a German who has come to the island to start a breadfruit plantation in the not-at-all deadly jungle that is "stuffed to the tits with quicksand, ferocious baboons, poisonous snakes" and poisonous frogs. There's also the Mua Mua, who are "simply a small native tribe that has had very limited experience with people from the outside world." ("Except as food.") And don't forget the dragons -- but those are just really large lizards.
posted by filthy light thief (23 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I kinda wish they didn't follow on the "this is actually a 3-hour long movie" take, because while it might make it better for bingers later on, for now it feels we're being shortchanged (and doesn't help episodes run under 20 minutes now).

I'm really tempted to wait.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:24 AM on April 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


This was one of the weaker first-episode "Okay, let's establish the premise" attempts, but I can't really put my finger on why.

I found it interesting that Pam is skinnier, but not coke-skinny.
posted by Etrigan at 12:10 PM on April 26, 2018


I enjoyed it, but I'm happy to please :-)
posted by Pendragon at 1:30 PM on April 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I didn't even realize this was back until last night, so I came into the episode wondering if I had missed something. Nope, it's a "alternate universe" story line, apparently because they ran out of steam on "original" Archer, I guess?

Anyway, it was kind of fun, and I'm interested to see where it goes. From some spoilerrific season preview write-ups that I won't link to avoid people accidentally reading ahead, it sounds like this is just a peak into a bigger world that has been created for this season.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:25 PM on April 26, 2018


Didn't you watch last season, filthy light thief ? That was set in the 40's. At the end of season 7 Archer was floating "dead" in a swimming pool, and apparently the final 3 seasons are coma dreams of Archer.
posted by Pendragon at 2:34 PM on April 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


because they ran out of steam on "original" Archer, I guess?

I've read a few times that having to retire ISIS because, well, y'know, might have damped some storylines they had left in the original format and forced them to find something new (which was Vice on season 5).

Plus, I think at this point, Archer is as interesting study on how virtual actors and actresses can be used, given the different settings they explored.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:18 PM on April 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


I like this idea of like in-canon fan-fic. It's like using the characters as actors to tell new stories.

I found it interesting that Pam is skinnier, but not coke-skinny.
It's so funny you should mention this. I felt like they drew Pam as being some kind of giant. Not like, overweight like she used to be, but as if drawn to a different scale than the other characters.
posted by bleep at 3:41 PM on April 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


Right? Pam is seven feet tall in this version and her shoulders are much broader than previous incarnations. She's clearly the muscle of the outfit.
posted by mochapickle at 4:00 PM on April 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Pendragon: Didn't you watch last season, filthy light thief ? That was set in the 40's. At the end of season 7 Archer was floating "dead" in a swimming pool, and apparently the final 3 seasons are coma dreams of Archer.

Ah, I forgot about that ending, thanks for the reminder.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:30 PM on April 26, 2018


I like this idea of like in-canon fan-fic. It's like using the characters as actors to tell new stories.

It feels like Blackadder, and I'm really into it and kind of wish that was the premise from the start!
posted by jason_steakums at 5:58 PM on April 26, 2018 [10 favorites]


I thought the inspiration for Pam's makeover might be the German Mechanic from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
posted by peeedro at 5:58 PM on April 26, 2018


I’m curious about the set of discussions that resulted in them successfully naming Cyril “Fuchs”.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:42 PM on April 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


Pam is totally drawn as the archetypal Bruiser. I'm thinking more American redneck/ good-ol'-boy than German mechanic (though they're still good with machines and vehicles), but the same phenotype applies.

This is all in Archer's head - the show did an interesting take of that last season with an a-gendered/ gender-ambiguous Poovey. Interesting to see if they continue to do that with Pam this season.

Hmm, "Just go you big dumb ox!" Ambiguous intent. In contrast, "Ow! My twat!"

Regardless, love her trucker cap horny goat logo.

I'm totally stealing 'flipperty-gibberty.' oh. nevermind. Flibbertigibbet.

Not sure if its an era reference, but I like to think that the high heels that Mallory and Cheryl wear are sandal high heels (heels in the previous seasons were almost exclusively pumps/ court shoes) as a reference to the climate/ location.

I had read somewhere a while ago that Lucky Yates would voice the Parrot (Crackers) - I originally thought that Archer transposed Ray into a Parrot sidekick or something. But... Crackers is definitely not Ray.

So, it's some new artifact of Archer's neuronal glutamate excitotoxicity during ischemia reperfusion injury (of the brain)?
posted by porpoise at 8:15 PM on April 26, 2018


To not abuse edit:

I'm a dumbass. Lucky Yates does Krieger.

Still, Crackers is not Krieger, but I still wonder if there's any weird Archer thinking that transposes Krieger into a Parrot.
posted by porpoise at 8:17 PM on April 26, 2018


People were bitching, but I thought this was pretty great.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:23 PM on April 26, 2018


I am beyond happy with Ray as Ray-nault.
posted by mochapickle at 8:27 PM on April 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Any other Tales of the Gold Monkey fans out there set to enjoy this as much as I am?

(The two native men having names that sound like excrement is a little problematic, but it could have been worse.)

Plus, I think at this point, Archer is as interesting study on how virtual actors and actresses can be used, given the different settings they explored.

I like this idea of like in-canon fan-fic. It's like using the characters as actors to tell new stories.


It reminds me of the 1960s Gothic serial Dark Shadows, which did the same thing several times in its five-year run. There were two time travel stories, 2 parallel universes, an extended flashback, and a cult story where people's personalities changed.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:11 AM on April 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm here for the Archer cast recreating some of the weird black-and-white Saturday afternoon movies/shows I watched as a child. In a way, it almost makes these characters feel realer to me, like they're seasoned players in an improv comedy troupe instead of spies.

A few years back I saw the cast do Archer Live at a local ampitheater. It was a combination of improv riffs on audience topics, Q&A, special outtakes that didn't make it onto the DVD box set and stories about how they met and started working together.

The big deal then was getting Lucky Yates listed in the opening credits. Honestly, isn't playing a parrot kind of a step up from playing a Hentai-obsessed Nazi mad scientist who experiments on his coworkers without their knowledge?

I could seriously watch this cast make any show, about anything, forever. They're all just so funny, and that extends from their individual character quirks to the long-running gags (phrasing!) and line delivery/timing. Not many comedy shows make me watch every ep 2-3 times just to catch all the jokes, but Archer and Another Period showcase consistently excellent writing.

It would be great to have, say, 44-minute episodes. I'm probably greedy, but 20-minute shows are too Adult Swim for me. It's just not as satisfying unless I'm binge-watching. But at least it's densely written, so waiting a week makes each new ep feel like a little treat.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:03 PM on April 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


All of the early reviews I read kept talking about how this was a Raiders take-off, but the factual details kept screaming Gold Monkey. Having watched it, I am confident saying there are definitely Gold Monkey fans on the Archers staff.
posted by sardonyx at 9:23 PM on April 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


It's kind of like a bottle episode that lasts all season. In a good way.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:14 PM on April 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


Fuchs

Reynaud, innit? Both the same animal.
posted by mwhybark at 7:56 PM on April 29, 2018


How Archer: Danger Island Was Born -- Archer producers Matt Thompson and Casey Willis walk us through episode one of Archer: Danger Island. (Daniel Kurland for Den of Geek)
Was the impending Second World War a big reason why you wanted to set this season in 1939? Talk on what that brings to the table?

The impending war seems to be a major part of the pulp genre. It gives us something to play with, especially regarding “Fuchs” and “Lanaluakalani” in terms of their relationship and their end goals. It’s also interesting to play with all the characters’ expectations, as they have no idea what lies ahead.

The whole "Arch of Darkness" trilogy from season three kind of saw a similar setting as this year. Did you consider making any connections to that material or calling back to it at all?

You’ll have to watch the entire season, but we can guarantee some bigconnections to “Heart of Archness” that we are very excited about.

Was there anything left in the “Archer: Dreamland” version of the show that you were sorry to leave behind, or were you pretty ready to move on from that playground?

One of Adam’s goals in Archer: Dreamland was to deal with the death of George Coe. He had a couple drafts for an episode in Season 7, but he didn’t feel that one episode was doing George and “Woodhouse” justice. The penultimate scene of the Dreamland season really summed up “Archer’s” feelings and helped show that he was ready to move forward.
And there's more in the interview/article.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:45 AM on May 5, 2018 [2 favorites]


I've been a big fan of Adam Reed stuff since the early Sealabs. Frisky Dingo I still think is the Ulysses of the Adult Swim format, and really like a lot of Archer.

Adam Reed comedies work best when its a bunch of random idiots yelling at each other. Its built on rapid-fire dialogue, obscure references and continuous callbacks to stuff.

I want to point out that it was also a bunch of people yelling at each other. Not a series of 1-on-1 riffing conversations. In those cases, they would fall back to cutting between scenes of conversations, but still kept up the pace.

Not surprised that they're revisiting Arch of Darkness (seaplane, eyepatch, parrot), built around some other bits.

Its also tragic that Sealab went totally downhill when Harry Goz (Captain Murphey) died in the middle of season 3, and the show lost the reliable ground that it had.

The death of Woodhouse caused a similar shakeup in the Archer story. There was no longer any reason to have him at home or have things work around that sweet apartment. Similarly, as noted above, having to get ISIS out of the name kind of ungrounded the series.

The upside is that its still a great cast and the animation has really improved. The downside is that it fell into something a lot of long-running shows do and started putting all the effort toward the series-long arc. A lot of the spontaneity has left in service to the plot.

Given all that, since its now in its NINTH(!) season, that its going back 6 years and fleshing out some other stuff isn't surprising, since they've already had a Sealab double-ep, and brought back things like, well ocelots. His shows were always shoestring budgets and tended to re-use what they could.

Buuut, at the end of the day, Archer was a spiritual successor to Frisky Dingo, which was a more plot-focused Sealab.

The things that always made those shows great was the dialogue.

It was a bunch of idiots yelling at each other.

But, whatever. I'm still watching it and entertained, but I can understand people not liking the recent seasons.
posted by lkc at 11:51 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


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