Matt Thompson Q&A: ‘Archer’ executive producer
“I am very excited and looking forward to this season for many different reasons,” says Matt Thompson about the upcoming eighth season of FXX’s Emmy-winning animated hit “Archer.” With the titular character in a coma after being shot and left for dead, the entire season called “Archer: Dreamland” debuts on April 5 at 10:00 p.m. EST. The surprising arc takes place as a dream inside Sterling Archer’s head with different variations of the show’s characters playing a role in a murder mystery in 1947 Los Angeles.
Thompson, the executive producer of the show and longtime partner of creator Adam Reed, joined us in a recent webchat (watch above), adding that it was amazing “to experience the show with those characters and then have all these established characters change slightly but are still essentially the same.” Thompson said Reed came to this decision because of the rules he had set up within the cartoon: “His character should be dead after the end of last season but we didn’t want to just resume with him being fine. So, in order to give it weight, we had him in a coma for the season.” Thompson also says that in order to get the film noir feel for the season, the creative team looked to such classic films as “The Maltese Falcon,” “Double Indemnity” and “Chinatown.”
For Thompson, the best part of the new set-up for this season was the look on the actors’ faces when they got their scripts and had a chance to do their established characters but with a slight difference to it. This change includes Jessica Walter playing a mob boss named Mother instead of Sterling’s actual mother Mallory and Amber Nash getting to play a detective named Poovey instead of her normal character of Pam. The most challenging aspect of the new season was not being able to advance the story with characters using cell phones.
Thompson also talked about what it was like when the show claimed a first Emmy win for Best Animated Program this past September and how his main area of focus was not tripping on the stairs of the Microsoft Theater. Thompson then describes what the subsequent experience was like: “For the first month it was awesome! Everyone is congratulating you, but after the month is up everyone is like, ‘Screw you. Where’s my stuff?'”