Straight to the heart of the periphery

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In his choric role, Simon Mayo often picks Mark Kermode up on elements of his film review on behalf of the listener - to explore or further analyse exactly what the Good Doctor is claiming, not least because he leaves a string of references ("have you ever seen that Ernest Borgnine film The Devil's Rain?") that would be baffling to most non-buffs. Sometimes Simon makes a surprisingly valid point while doing this - for example questioning how the filmmakers were so inept that it was possible for them to somehow make the daemon separation scene in The Golden Compass not terrifying - and is congratulated on doing so by Mark. On more occasions, however, Mark feels that Simon's interventions fail to focus on the core elements of what he is trying explain. When this happens, he describes Simon as going "straight to the heart of the periphery."