After a certain amount of success, one reaches the point of being able to speak their mind within the film and TV industry, with little fear of recompense for any ill comments.  But for all our unabashed love of all things Benedict Cumberbatch, from 'Sherlock' to the upcoming 'Star Trek' sequel, what's the actor been saying about the acclaimed British drama 'Downton Abbey' that's ruffling feathers?

As reported by TVLine, it seems that 'Sherlock' star Benedict Cumberbatch failed to deduce how some of his comments on 'Downton Abbey' might make their way around, considering the profile of both the actor and the show.  While promoting the upcoming May premiere of 'Sherlock's third series in an interview with the New York Times, Cumberbatch took a swipe at the British period drama, particularly over an earlier incident with Masterpiece executive Rebecca Eaton that took place at the January Golden Globes.  Says Cumberbatch of the incident, after Eaton taunted him with 'Downton Abbey's recent statue win:

I just looked at it and went: ‘Begone, woman.' Bring it back when it says 'Sherlock' or [Sherlock creator] Steven Moffat or myself — someone else who’s more deserving than the second [season] of 'Downton Abbey.'

I know too many people who are in [Abbey]. I thought the first series was good. That’s what I’ll say.

Cumberbatch actually isn't the only one to criticize the show's second season, as series star Elizabeth McGovern was observed to say in an interview with the Los Angeles Times “Abbey in the first season was more to my taste than the show in the second season,” though she later insisted her comments had been taken out of context.  Such drama!  And on 'Downton Abbey,' of all places!  We're about to pop a monacle!

What say you?  Has the second series of 'Downton Abbey' earned such strife, or are the tongues and writing sharper than ever?  Should 'Sherlock' have kept his mouth shut?  Give us your take on the drama in the comments below!