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The Minyans were a species of humanoids who encountered the early Time Lords shortly after they had developed time travel. The Minyans association with the Time Lords ended with their planet being destroyed.
The Minyans physically resembled humans and would normally live less than a hundred years. (TV: Underworld) Their skeletons resembled those of humans. Their brains were too weak to safely channel huge amounts of psychic power; while a Minyan could engage in psychic attacks, sustaining them for extended periods of time began to burn off their neurons, one by one. (COMIC: Omega)
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 utilised 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. Many of the crew had committed suicide by simply letting their bodies wither away and die. Those who went on were always dismayed once the process was finished.
The Time Lords encountered the Minyans early in their history. (TV: Underworld) When they arrived, the Minyans were "no more than unremarkable apes", beastly cave-men who made a harsh living through hunting ox-like creatures with spears. (COMIC: Omega) The Minyans believed that the Time Lords were gods, and in return, the Time Lord gave them advanced technology, accelerating their development before the Minyans had advanced enough on their own. They also passed onto them the secrets of regeneration (TV: Underworld) and various psychic abilities. (COMIC: Omega)
Revolution on Minyos
After three thousand years of civilisation, the Minyans yearned to control their own destinies, viewing the rules of their Gods as oppressive. The figure of Oxirgi emerged as a lynchpin of the rebellious impulses of the Minyan population. He first advocated the case against the Gods in political assemblies, then attempted active protests and activism. These were crushed brutally by the Gods. However, Oxirgi, who was secretly in contact with Omega, resorted to more violent means until the Gods fled the planet, in shame at what they had wrought. (COMIC: Omega)
The Minyan royal family attempted to flee the planet in a space-ship and died in orbit. The sole survivor was Princess Malika, who had been spirited away from the rioting capital city by Captain Himoyachi. Fearing that the increasing violence would lead to the Minyans destroying their own world, Malika, against Himoyachi's advice, sent a messenger drone to Oxirgi, requesting peaceful parlay. He set her an appointment at the Garden of Serenity, promising that he would guarantee her safety, but upon arriving, Oxirgi revealed he actually intended to have her publicly executed as a show of force that would cement the stability of his new regime. The following day, however, Malika dramatically revealed that the Gods had bestowed cellular renewal upon the royal family as she was reborn in a new body moments after being shot by the firing squad. Using the messenger drone as a makeshift means of personal flight, she made her escape from the uproar. (COMIC: Omega)
Destruction of the planet
The Minyans made further technological advancements, such as nuclear power and the toothbrush. It was generally believed that, using this nuclear power, they started a nuclear war that destroyed Minyos. (TV: Underworld) In truth, the planet was accidentally destroyed by a Time Lord Timonic Fusion Device. The Time Lords used the civil war as a cover story. (AUDIO: The Inquiry)
The legacy of Minyos
Despite the destruction, at least two 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 revitalise 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 Fourth 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. (TV: Underworld)
During the construction of the Hand of Omega, when Rassilon and Omega contemplated imposing an order onto the universe, the other warned them to remember the Minyans. (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks)
As part of a ritual to summon the Chronovore known as Artemis, the First 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 and obtain the blood. (PROSE: No Future)
While a student at the Prydon Academy, Theta Sigma wrote a paper that discussed the "Minyan Incident" for Borusa's Temporal Engineering course. He later resubmitted the paper with revision to avoid mention of the Minyans on Borusa's suggestion. (PROSE: The Time Lord Letters)
Behind the scenes
Many of the names and incidents in Underworld were derived from the myth of Jason and the Argonauts. In Greek mythology, the Minyans were the original inhabitants of the Mediterranean. In some versions of the Jason myth, the Argonauts are referred to as "Minyans" because Jason's mother was descended from the Minyans.