Benedict Cumberbatch thinks today's popular culture is ''s**t''.

The 'Sherlock' actor worries about the dumbing down of the arts and culture, especially in his native Britain, but is confident his new BBC drama 'Parade's End' will be well received because he believes the public is more intelligent than they are given credit for.

Benedict told the latest issue of Reader's Digest magazine: ''You don't just want to kowtow to a modern sensibility. It's very hard getting into the car in the morning and listening to some radio station and thinking, 'This is the level that people are engaging at on quite a few conversations.

''This is the depth of analysis and the variety of topic ... how are they going to take ['Parade's End']?'

''But, actually, I'm a firm believer in audiences being so much more intelligent than the s**t they get fed.''

The 36-year-old star has never been busier professionally and has upcoming roles in 'The Hobbit' - in which he voices Smaug the dragon - and 'Star Trek 2'.

Benedict recently revealed he went to the zoo to study reptiles to prepare for his part in the adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's novel.

He said: ''It's an extrapolation of a performance into something other than an actor. But essentially, you're still doing a scene. It was good research.''