In the wake of the global triumph of “Cunk on Earth,” the trailblazing documentarian Philomena Cunk, portrayed by Diane Morgan, is set to embark on her most ambitious odyssey yet. This time, she ventures beyond the terrestrial confines, probing the universe’s deepest recesses to unravel the enigmatic essence of life itself.

The perennial query, “What’s the point of it all?” has echoed through human contemplation since time immemorial. In the current era, marked by a frenetic pace of life and the encroaching dominance of machines, people are more earnestly seeking meaning before an artificial intelligence-powered computer claims to decipher it all for them.

In an exclusive extended special for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, aptly titled “Cunk’s Quest for Meaning,” Philomena will confront some of the most intricate notions known to humanity. From Quantum Physics and Existentialism to Nihilism and Hedonism, she delves into a myriad of ‘isms’, elucidating topics ranging from the inception of the cosmos to the intricacies of biology, the nuances of morals to the profundity of meditation, and the intersection of art with artificial intelligence.

Throughout her quest, she scrutinizes the lives and contributions of history’s luminary thinkers and avant-garde creatives, encompassing Epicurus to Dostoyevsky, Sartre to Van Gogh, Nietzsche to the ingenious minds behind kitchen signs proclaiming ‘Live Laugh Love.’

This expedition propels Philomena across Europe and, for the first time, internationally to America (pending visa approval, fingers crossed). Along the way, she engages with preeminent experts and academics, holding them captive until she extracts answers to existential questions like: What is life? What’s its purpose? Why are we driven to uncover these mysteries, and, crucially, when’s lunch?

Philomena Cunk says: “To be honest I thought we could cover the meaning of life in a 30-minute episode, but the producers said we might need a bit longer and that I could probably go to America if we did a special. I’m very excited to be going to America for free.”

Charlie Brooker says: “What sort of quote do you want for your press release? I haven’t got time to think about this, I’m late for a Zoom. Oh for God’s sake. Okay, just print something bland like “I’m thrilled Philomena is returning to our screens to help us uncover the meaning of life” – that’ll do. Now go away and leave me alone. I said go away. Go! Leave! Why are you still standing there? You’re freaking me out now. Get out. GO.”

Jon Petrie, BBC Director of Comedy Commissioning says: “Cunk has become a global phenomenon, so it’s fitting that she is travelling further than before to ask some of the brightest people on earth some serious questions. Hopefully, she was clever enough to remember to renew her passport. Diane Morgan and Charlie Brooker are the dream team, and I’m so glad they’ve teamed up again for more Cunk on the BBC.”

“Cunk’s Quest for Meaning” is slated to premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer later this year and will be available on Netflix outside the UK and Ireland.

This 75-minute special is a production by Broke and Bones for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, created and written by Charlie Brooker. The writing team includes Diane Morgan, Ben Caudell, Erika Ehler, Charlie George, Eli Goldstone, Jason Hazeley, Lucia Keskin, Joel Morris, and Michael Odewale. Al Campbell directs, Susie Hall serves as the series producer, Lizzie Search is the line producer, and the executive producers are Charlie Brooker, Annabel Jones, Ali Marlow, and Ben Cavey. The series was commissioned for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer by Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy, with Tanya Qureshi as the BBC commissioner.