‘Archer: 1999’ – Aisha Tyler Interview on Season 10 Set in Space

FXX’s critically acclaimed adult animated comedy Archer returns with season 10 on May 29, 2019. The new season, titled Archer: 1999, finds the gang in space on board the M/V Seamus. Archer and his friends will face aliens and space pirates while stuck together on the salvage ship.

The returning voice cast who’ll be handling new versions of their characters includes H. Jon Benjamin as Captain Sterling Archer, Aisha Tyler as Co-Captain/Archer’s ex-wife Lana Kane, and Jessica Walter as Archer’s mother, Malory Archer. Judy Greer voices the ship’s pilot, Cheryl/Carol Tunt, and Chris Parnell is First Mate Cyril Figgis. Amber Nash voices the ship’s muscle, Pam Poovey, and Adam Reed voices the “out-of-place-in-space” courtesan, Ray Gillette. Lucky Yates’ Krieger is a synthetic human with questionable morals.

Season 10 will air on Wednesdays at 10pm ET/PT on FXX. Archer After Hours hosted by Amber Nash and Lucky Yates will stream immediately following the season premiere on Facebook. The network’s ordered three episodes of the after-show to stream on May 29, June 26, and July 24.

The cast of Archer made the trip to the 2019 WonderCon to promote the upcoming season. Aisha Tyler joined us for a roundtable interview to discuss this season’s adventure in space and what’s in store for Lana.

Has the fact the show reinvents itself every season been a creative challenge for you every year?

Aisha Tyler: “Oh, not challenging. It makes the show interesting to do, interesting to watch. I think probably maybe fans kind of struggled to adjust in the beginning until they realized it was something we were going to be doing every season.

The main reason why it happened is because Adam Reed writes every single episode of the show and he just got f**king bored. You know what I mean? (Laughing) It’s like, ‘I’m sick of writing the same stuff.’ So, it’s really a way for him to make the show dynamic so that he can stay excited about writing it.

But it’s been super fun for us. We were literally just talking and I was like, ‘I would really love another season where we’re drug dealers. Can we go back to that?’ It was my favorite season. But it’s fun because the characters stay the same; it’s just the context that changes. The dynamic between these characters is why people love the show. It’s really just a workplace comedy that kind of keeps moving around from office to office, but the way they relate to each other – the interactions, the comedy – that stays the same.

And then it’s fun for the animators too because they get to re-envision the show every season, like a new look and a new feel. I think having been on a lot of other shows, you don’t want to get into a rut where you’re kind of just playing the same stuff every day. It can happen like that in 10 years on the show. Everything can feel similar to what’s happened before. So, for us it’s just been fun. It’s really playful.”

Archer: 1999 Aisha Tyler
Lana Kane (voice of Aisha Tyler) and Sterling Archer (voice of H. Jon Benjamin) in ‘Archer: 1999’ (Photo Credit : FXX)

With the drastic change this season into a story set in space, does it feel like you’re taking a step back to regular continuity?

Aisha Tyler: “Well, I can’t tell you any granular details about this season. In some ways the dynamic between the characters is very different this year. Like Archer and Lana – their past is a little different. Their history’s a little different, but the dynamic of how they interact is the same. So, I can’t tell you that these floating threads are going to get resolved this season. I think they probably won’t, you know? But, it’s fun.

This is a show you can go back and watch again and again and find those little Easter eggs and beats that are buried in other episodes. I think some of those will pay off in really fun ways this year. But then in other ways we’ll still have questions, which is like part of the fun of Archer.”

How well do you know Lana by now?

Aisha Tyler: “I think I know her really well. I think she’s evolved because I’ve played her…shows are living animals, right? Part of it is the way the character’s written but then a part of it is the way that you play it. The writing tends to respond to the way that the actor builds the character as well. So, I think I know her really well.

She’s really interesting. But I think at the same time she’s also an evolving person. Her desires, her goals are changing all the time. In the beginning what I really wanted was for her to take over the agency. That was originally my goal for Lana; she was originally going to have Malory’s job. And now I don’t think I or Lana care about that anymore. I think who wants to boss these a**holes around, right? I mean, more than she already does.

This season you’re going to see Lana in more of a leadership position which I think is probably more trouble than it’s worth, looking at this group of people. Be careful what you wish for.”

What’s the setup? Are you on a space station and it’s just the crew or are you interacting with other people?

Aisha Tyler: “I think if you look at all these past seasons, they’ll all been an homage to a genre. Archer Vice was almost like an homage to those movies from the ‘70s – the Convoy movies and the Starsky and Hutchs, and then also like Miami Vice in the ‘70s and ‘80s. And then we had the noir season. Then the last season was really all about those…not just the Raiders of the Lost Ark and all that stuff…but also those ‘20s and ‘30s swashbuckling films.

So, this is an homage to space films in general. It’s like Alien, but also a series like Star Trek. You’re going to see a lot of visual and creative cues that you love from those kinds of movies. We’re like kind of space piratey so maybe a little Firefly. You know what I mean? It’s pretty cool.”