"We're living in a culture now that's revering, or having a nostalgia trip with, the beginning of the 1900s," Cumberbatch told Reader's Digest via Digital Spy. "Although 'Downton' traded a lot on the sentiment in the last series ... but we won't talk about that series because it was, in my opinion, f---ing atrocious."
Cumberbatch, who is promoting his new BBC Two miniseries "Parade's End," said his program is "so much more sophisticated, so much more unusual" than "Downton Abbey."
But this is not the first time Cumberbatch has attacked "Downton Abbey" Season 2. In April of this year, he told The New York Times that he affectionately taunted Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of the PBS "Masterpiece" series, at the 2012 Golden Globes ceremony in January.
Cumberbatch said Eaton came up to him with her new award for "Downton Abbey." "I just looked at it and went: 'Begone, woman. Bring it back when it says "Sherlock Holmes" or Steven Moffat or myself -- someone else who's more deserving than the second series of "Downton Abbey,"'" he recounted to The Times.
Months later, Cumberbatch clarified his statements to TVLine. He told the site that "it's like people don't have any sense of irony or a brain," in regards to his comments to "Downton Abbey" and "Sherlock" producer Rebecca Eaton.
Cumberbatch told TVLine there are numerous indicators that he was joking, including the fact that he's friends with several "Downton Abbey" cast members and its creator Julian Fellowes.
"First of all, I knew it was the first [season] that it was getting awarded for, so that was the first part of the joke," Cumberbatch said. "There's just no way I would say something like that without it being tongue-in-cheek."
The titular "Sherlock" star added that he was mortified about the "PR disaster" that ensued following his comments. "I can tell you I'm a huge fan of 'Downton,' and what I said was quite, quite clearly -- to most intelligent New York Times readers -- a joke."
But it doesn't sound funny anymore.
Take a look at the 2012 Emmy nominees, including many for "Downton Abbey" Season 2.