‘Archer: Dreamland’ Uses Tech to Upgrade Fans’ Experience

Our favorite perpetually drunk, womanizing super spy is finally ready to rush back into the danger zone. April 5th marks the return of the animated series Archer for its eighth season, and the creators aren’t just taking fans back in time, they’re bringing Archer’s escapades to the palm of your hand.

Season 8, titled Archer: Dreamland, takes place in Archer’s coma-induced dream state, which severs the relationships fans know and plops them right into 1940s L.A. Although the characters don’t know one another at the start of the season, that doesn’t mean they’re not the same ones fans love.

Archer, of course, is a private eye, and he’s trying to solve the murder of Woodhouse, presented as his former partner in Dreamland. His loving mother Malory is the biggest mob boss in L.A. Lana is a nightclub singer and probable femme fatale, Cyril and Pam are partners working for the LAPD, Cheryl is a client who resembles Cheryl’s usual crazy, and Krieger is, well, crazy Krieger.

But a new era isn’t the only thing new about Archer this season: The show is introducing a companion app that will give fans cases to solve with each new episode.

“Archer P.I.” utilizes augmented reality to mix real life and television right in fans’ living rooms, bringing a whole new experience to television. Each television episode features hidden items that the app finds and scans, providing clues for a new case to solve on the app. There are also hidden items to find in advertisements and videos that supplement the cases, and solving cases gains users awards, such as the one show executive producer Matt Thompson described to Uproxx:

“They showed me the award I got for episode one. It was a piece of paper that you download. But if you fold it in the manner you’re instructed to, you now have a real world piece of paper, and you hold your phone up to it, and it comes alive. When it happened to me, and I saw what it did, I was like “Holy shit! This is amazing! I can’t believe this is real!”

It’s fun, but it’s not easy. For every Archer episode, the creators have to create a second episode for the app, pulling items from the actual show to use in the cases. It’s like creating two parallel seasons at once, but that’s not stopping Thompson, who says that they are even considering going back and doing the same for previous seasons.

The good thing for fans is that, although the season doesn’t start for a couple more weeks, the app is already available on the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Archer returns for season 8 on Wednesday, April 5th, but be sure to adjust your DVRs, ladies, gents, ocelots, and Barry—wait, he’s in this season, too! – because the show is switching to the FX sister network, FXX.

Krista Johnson

Krista's a freelance proofreader and writer with a focus on medical editing and teen story-based games. She also makes a few bucks with photography. When she's not working with words, she's spoiling her English bulldog and trying new things in the kitchen.

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