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Death Is the Only Answer was a mini-episode broadcast on Doctor Who Confidential. It debuted on BBC Three as part of When Time Froze.

Doctor Who Confidential and BBC Learning teamed up in a competition for UK students aged 9-11 to write a script for a Doctor Who short. The winning script was chosen by Doctor Who producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis and Controller of BBC Learning Saul Nassé. The writers of the winning script were Adam, Daniel, Katie, and Ben, Year Six students at Oakley C.E. Junior School in Basingstoke.


In the console room of his TARDIS, the Eleventh Doctor is celebrating his acquisition of a new fez formerly owned by his old friend Albert Einstein. The Doctor trips near the console, knocking the fez out of his hands and onto a lever on the console. The Doctor accidentally pushes another lever, causing the fez to vanish. A time portal appears and Einstein himself stumbles through it with the fez, bewildered.

Einstein had been working on his own attempt at a time machine, but when he tried to turn it off, he arrived in the TARDIS. Einstein also thought that he'd discovered the vital part of finishing his time machine — a green liquid, which he believed to be bionic fusion liquid. After scanning the liquid, the Doctor informs Einstein that he is wrong. When Einstein walks away from the console to run some tests on the liquid, the flask suddenly bubbles over and the liquid splashes onto his face, turning him into an Ood who repeats the sentence, "Death is the only answer."

The Doctor has the TARDIS generate an energy field which turns Albert back into his normal self. The Doctor recommends that Albert keeps his fried hair, as it looks "more sciencey". The Doctor drops Albert off on 18 September 1945, and leaves for another adventure; unnoticed by the Doctor, a bit of Einstein's liquid remains on the console room floor, moving on its own.



  • The Doctor mentions that Einstein's toothbrush was destroyed by the Daleks during a recent encounter, or if his memory is slipping, within the last century.
  • The Doctor and Einstein are old friends.

Story notes[]


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Filming locations[]

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Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

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DVD/Blu-ray release[]

Although the episode of Doctor Who Confidential that contained Death is the Only Answer was included in the Series 6 DVD and Blu-ray box sets in a "Cutdown" edit, this mini-episode was not included, although its follow-up, Good as Gold, would be included in the UK edition of the Series 7 set. It joins a handful of other minisodes, such as the Tardisodes and tie-in website videos of Series 2 and P.S. that have yet to receive home video releases.