"Experiment in Purple" was a story printed in the fourth issue of The Twilight Zone comic published by Gold Key Comics.
The Way-Out Club promised that is was an exciting, unique nightclub that offered an "evening that is out of this world." Reporter Dugan would learn just how true this claim was.
Cast of characters
- Chronicle boss
- Chronicle workers (9)
- diners (16)
- Way-Out Club bartender
- Way-Out Club security (2)
- Way-Out Club valet
- Way-Out Club waitresses (2)
"The busy city room of the Daily Chronicle. A reporter's job can take some peculiar twists and lead him anywhere--even into the Twilight Zone!"
When Dugan received the assignment to investigate the new dining and dance hall, The Way-Out Club, he looked forward to a relaxing night of drinks and entertainment. As he pulled up to the saucer-shaped club and was greeted by a valet in an outlandish green cape, he began to suspect that the evening may not exactly meet his expectations. Inside, Dugan found his way to the bar and after trying the "Spaceman Special," asked the bartender if he could speak with the owner. Suddenly, two men in similar dress to the valet arrived and escorted Dugan down a hallway. They led him to end of the corridor, which appeared to be a deadend until a secret hatch opened!
A moustached man in a green costume welcomed Dugan from behind the secret door. He introduced himself as Mr. Fapp and consented to an interview. He shared that the club was actually a front for an experiment that he was conducting. If it turned out that the Way-Out Club was successful, Fapp planned to expand the business into a global franchise. From there, he hoped that it would grow to become interplanetary! The seasoned reporter scoffed at the idea of an interplanetary franchise of nightclubs. It was then that Mr. Fapp assured him that he was serious by removing the human mask he had been wearing, revealing a green, wrinkly face beneath!
Dugan assumed he was the butt of a strange joke. The nightclub owner went on to tell the reporter that he was not from Earth, but from the planet Micra in another galaxy! At that point, Dugan rose to head for the exit but the two security guards, Durg and Brac, grabbed him and held him tightly. For better or worse, he was now a captive of these beings.
The owner had more to show the Earthman. Behind another secret panel, a control room was revealed. Fapp informed Dugan that the entire nightclub was a functional spaceship and that the room before them was the cockpit. He and his crew had come to Earth to evaluate the possibility of a takeover.
It seems that while the civilization of Micra was very advanced in scientific knowledge, it suffered from over-population. Years were spent in exploring space to find a compatible world to colonize in an effort to relieve the population density. Finally, they found a planet that looked quite suitable for their plan: Earth! The people of Micra developed a plan to explore this candidate for habitation in secret, although a few of their saucers where spotted by witnesses. They had decided it would be best to maintain their secrecy and undertook a plan to disguise themselves as humans and use nightclubs as brainwashing centers.
Dugan swore that the aliens would never succeed in their strategy. Mr. Fapp was eager to prove the reporter wrong. He cued up a video screen that broadcast images from the dining room and told his prisoner to observe as he activated the super-violet ray gun. The weapon was said to be quick and painless means of implanting thoughts into the occupants of the room with a single ten second bombardment. Once delivered, the thought would remain dormant until the colonists from Micra arrived on the planet at which time the mesmerized humans would become completely obedient to the invaders. This is how it would happen with the humans unaware of the Micrans presence, but they had never tested it on someone who had knowledge of the plan. Mr. Dugan was to be that test subject!
The next morning Dugan awakened in his own bed, hours late for work. His alarm had apparently failed to wake him. He felt as though he had a terrible nightmare, but could not remember any of it. He dressed quickly and ran to his office.
Upon arrival at the Daily Chronicle building, Dugan was questioned about his assignment at the Way-Out Club the night before. The reporter commented that it was like something out of the 21st century or outer space. He felt the club would be a huge success, but never mentioned anything about aliens. He did, however, experience a feeling that something truly exotic and interesting had occurred, but he was unable to recall what it might have been. As he sat at his desk, he pondered what it might have been, but only came up with a word sounding like Mica or micro. The aliens would be pleased.
"A reporter on a routine assignment stumbled into something out of this world. Now the fate of his fellow men hangs in the balance, suspended by the fragile thread of his memory between freedom on Earth and slavery in the Twilight Zone!"
Response and analysis
Notes and annotations
- Originally published in color
- Printed on newsprint, 8 pages
- Reprinted in Mystery Comics Digest 03
Notes and references
- Bob Klein and Mike Tiefenbacher. "The Twilight Zone no 4 (1962 series)." Grand Comics Database. Retrieved: July 26, 2009.