Review: Archer: 1999 “Bort the Garj”

This is just the beginning of an epic space adventure

Overview:

The ship travels into a dangerous area of space and Archer is the only one to wake up.  Instead of waking the rest of the crew, he decides to try and loot an abandoned transport that has been attacked by pirates.  Unfortunately, the rest of the team wakes up before his mission.  As the crew begins to argue, a mysterious alien finds its way on the ship.  Bort the Garj, managed to escape the pirate attack and promises the team a large reward if they can return him to his home planet.  However, when they arrive on the world, they discover that Bort is working with the evil Barry Six, and the crew has been locked up in prison.

 

Our Take:

After Archer took a turn in season eight’s noir storytelling and last season’s Archer: Danger Island premiered it raised a lot of questions as to what would be the standard for the series going forward.  With the finale hinting that Archer would be making his way to space, there was a lot of chatter as to if that would happen.  Over the break, show creator Adam Reed confirmed that Archer and crew would, in fact, be sharing the close quarters of a spaceship.  With the sprinkled release of artwork and trailers, Archer: 1999 began to take form before fans eyes.  The premiere of this season has been one of the most highly anticipated of the series thus far.

Adjusting to a new timeline and setting in Archer has become like second nature.  The commercial savage spaceship, Seamus, fits into the background seamlessly to the character designs.  Archer, as a captain splitting his ship with his ex-wife and co-captain Lana, is a clever use of both characters.  While fitting in the other crew members works, it’s not entirely clear on what all of their roles are on the ship quite yet.  Yet, it is still nice to see the futuristic redesigns.  Especially Cheryl Tunt, who has grown from a bumbling personal assistant to an ace fighter pilot who hates being a fighter pilot, and Pam, who has been transformed into a massive rock beast.

The full-out science fiction genre is the perfect backdrop for Archer, and it is surprising that we haven’t seen this utilized to this extent before.  Even the strange looking half-starfish character, Bort, manages to fall into place.  Nothing feels forced.  There are some significant space battles matched with great design and animation that will help to take this season over the top.  If you weren’t excited about Archer in a season-long space adventure before, you are sure to after this premiere episode.

While this story is just setting out, the obvious thing here is the potential of where this story can head going forward.  Sure, the show may still be locked inside of Sterling’s subconscious after falling into a coma in season seven, but that opens the doors for even more crazy adventures.  Episode one managed to establish us in a whole new galaxy while maintaining the witty humour that has carried the series through a decade of television.  We will be eagerly watching how Archer and crew manage in space and how this story unfolds.

 

Jesse Bereta

Jesse (Green Onion) Bereta is a chef of words. Classically trained in the kitchen, Jesse changed careers in ‘015 to pursue his passion of writing (and being a full time pop culture nerd). Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Jesse also operates his own website, podcasts, and is a father of two budding sprouts. The Green Onion headquarters is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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