The Minyans were a species of near-Humans who encountered the early Time Lords shortly after they had developed time travel.
The Minyans were physically identical to Humans and would normally live less than a hundred years.
Like the Time Lords, the Minyans could enable themselves an effectively unlimited number of physical regenerations by mechanical means, though it did nothing to alleviate the suffering of body or mind. The crew of the R1C utilized regeneration to survive the length of the journey. By the time they reached the end of their quest, the crew had regenerated a thousand times.
The Minyans also developed the pacification gun, though too late to prevent the war from occuring.
At one point on their home planet, the Minyans had cast out the Heliomancers from their society.
The Time Lords encountered the Minyans early in their history. The Minyans believed that the Time Lords were gods, and in return, the Time Lord gave them advanced technology. Eventually, the Minyans turned on the Time Lords and forced them off the planet. They made further advancements, such as nuclear power and the toothbrush. Using this nuclear power, they started a nuclear war that destroyed Minyos. The self-destruction of the Minyans prompted the Time Lord non-interference policy.
Despite this, at least 2 ships were able to escape the destruction of the planet. The P7E contained a race bank which possessed the genes of the Minyans, which could be used to re-vitalize the species. The P7E was accidentally trapped in a nebula, making a planet form around it. The R1C had been sent into space to try to find the P7E.
100,000 years after Minyos was destroyed, the Doctor and Leela encountered R1C, having had little luck with the quest for P7E. With the Doctor's help, the Minyans in the R1C located the descendants of the crew of the P7E, as well as the race banks and headed for Minyos II, three hundred and seventy years away.
As part of a ritual to summon the Chronovore known as Artemis, the Monk used blood from five species affected by the actions of the Time Lords, including that of a Minyan. He had used an exotic, expensive poison to kill the Minyan to obtain the blood.