The sign of a good show is that they can make you feel like you've got a good grip on the characters and then suddenly reveal large portions of their back story and make you realize you only knew a very small part of them (and you still don't know a whole lot even with the big reveals). It will change how you look at everyone, while still keeping them in the same light they've always been in (if that makes any sense to you, congratulations).
I'm finding more sympathy for all the characters in Torchwood. I loved all the characters before finding out their back stories, but I seem to care for them more knowing more about them (isn't that always the way with people). It makes the idea of something happening to them even harder to bear.
Of course, I know that it's likely something will happen. And that will hurt. It reminds me of, well, any Joss Wheden show. Just as soon as everything seems to be going right for the characters, something bad happens (usually something horrible). And it made me hate the writers (especially Joss) while perversely loving them (especially Joss) for giving me such a wonderful show. The pain of the characters was real, it hurt the viewers. The joy was just as real, and it brought joy to the viewers. Of course, I realize that people would stop watching if everything was going well. People like seeing the pain, mainly because we like seeing the people get past whatever is causing it and fight for the right.
And for that, I will endure the pain of the characters. Because as they push past their pain, it reminds me to do that in my own life. And it helps me to know that in these shows, ultimately good will win over evil. It may include loss on the part of the good (and that hurts), but in the end good will triumph. And isn't that really what we're all looking for in the end? Doesn't that provide us all with a little bit of comfort?
I'm off to find comfort in good triumphing other places. Because it makes me smile.